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Fact of the Day - FICTIONAL TEACHERS

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Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Did you know... Television and movie fans have been introduced to some beloved teachers we wish we could have had in class and others who we would have wanted to avoid. Click the link at the bottom to read about 20 of the best and worst fictional teachers. (Jeff Mezydlo | August 26, 2022)

 

The 5 Best & 5 Worst Fictional Teachers In Movies, Ranked

by COLIN MCCORMICK |  April 17, 2020

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Teaching is one of the most important professions in the world. These educators are trusted to help shape the minds of children for the better so they may achieve and contribute positively to the world. Teachers have been depicted in many movies, some of which succeed in their mission, and some that fall far short. Good teachers help to inspire their students, they treat them with respect, and they encourage them. Bad teachers stunt their students learning, fail to offer any excitement in learning, and are unqualified. Here are some of the best and worst fictional movie teachers.

 

1. Best: Dewey Finn (School Of Rock)

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Dewey Finn (Jack Black) lies about his identity to get a job teaching then uses that position to start a rock band with the young students. That description might seem like Dewey would be one of the worst teachers ever, but he gradually proved himself in the job. Sure, Dewey isn't qualified to teach math or history, but he is a talented music teacher. More importantly, he taught life lessons to these kids. He allowed them to explore new passions, he gave them confidence and he forms a pretty great band in the process.

 

2. Worst: John Kimble (Kindergarten Cop)

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John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is another teacher who is not who he says he is. Kimble is a tough, no-nonsense cop who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher in the hopes of catching a criminal. After a short time, Kimble proves himself to be completely ill-prepared for the mission. First of all, a teacher who uses his young students as a way of catching dangerous criminals is pretty bad at their job. When it comes to actually teaching the children, Kimble shows no ability to control the class and loses his temper way too easily.

 

3. Best: Mr. Bruner (The Edge Of Seventeen)

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Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson) in The Edge of Seventeen is one of the more grounded teachers on this list and that's really what is needed for a good teacher. He does not take any bizarre or outlandish approaches to his lessons, but rather relies on honesty and respect to connect with his students. Mr. Bruner does not sugar-coat things when students come to him for help. He is truthful, and maybe even a little too truthful. But when his students are genuinely in need of help, he is there for them.

 

4. Worst: Economics Teacher (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

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Just because someone knows the material they are teaching doesn't make them a good teacher. Such is the case with the unnamed economics teacher (T. Scott. Coffey) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He is shown to have the knowledge but he only succeeds in putting his students to sleep. Economics can be a dry subject, but the way in which this teacher conveys the lesson, or even the way he takes roll call, is so dull it would be impossible to absorb any information. Teachers need to know the material and to know how to engage students.

 

5. Best: Professor Charles Xavier (X-Men)

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Though he is also the leader of a group of mutant heroes who often have to save the world, it's obvious Charles Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) true passion is teaching. He also provides a sanctuary for children who can't find acceptance elsewhere. Xavier's School for Gifted Children accepts young mutants and allows them to live with kids like them and hopefully have a somewhat normal life. He also teaches them to harness their powers and use them for good along with all the other important subjects young minds need.

 

6. Worst: Indiana Jones (The Indiana Jones Franchise)

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Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is another teacher who splits his time between the classroom and going on heroic missions. However, unlike Professor Xavier, one gets the sense that Dr. Jones prefers his time outside of the classroomGiven how often he is on globetrotting adventures, it's likely he isn't in class all that much anyway. He returns from one trip only to head out on another one. When students have questions about their work, he slips out his office window rather than help them. It's a wonder why he still bothers to call himself a teacher.

 

7. Best: Professor McGonagall (Harry Potter)

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Hogwarts is a school much like Professor Xavier's school. It helps gifted children (wizards in this case) develop their abilities. It is also another school that finds itself in danger a lot and things would be a lot worse if not for teachers like Professor McGonagall. McGonagall (Maggie Smith) is a tough but fair teacher. She holds her students accountable when they break the rules, but her top priority is always their safety. She will bravely stand up to anyone in order to ensure they are taken care of properly.

 

8. Worst: Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter)

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On the complete opposite end of the teaching spectrum at Hogwarts is Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). Though her outward personality may appear to be friendly and kind, she is, in fact, a corrupt, small-minded, and abusive teacher. Umbridge is one of those people who is more concerned with her stance always being right that she will ignore logic and facts if it contradicts her in any way. That is certainly not a good quality for a teacher. When disobeyed, she even resorts to sadistic punishment.

 

9. Best: John Keating (Dead Poets Society)

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Everyone remembers a teacher who was able to truly inspire them and there is no cinematic teacher as inspiring as John Keating (Robin Williams) in Dead Poets Society. This teacher at an all-boys private school teaches his young pupils the power of poetry and changes their lives because of it. He uses his teachings to make his students better people and to see themselves differently than they used to. He even inspires them to take a stand for what they believe in. It's the power of a great teacher.

 

10. Worst: Trunchbull (Matilda)

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Some teachers are not interested in teaching students anything. They are only interested in having a position of power. That is the case with Agatha Trunchbull (Pam Ferris), the terrifying and sadistic teacher in MatildaShe shows no interest in education and rather spends all her energy disciplining students for outrageous things. Her methods of punishment are also extremely horrific and almost medieval in nature. It's not surprising that her students sought to rebel against her.

 

Source: The Best and Worst Fictional Teachers | Facts About the Best-Worst Fictional Teachers

 

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Fact of the Day - SAINT LUCIA

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Did you know... Saint Lucia is the only country named after a woman.
While Ireland is named after the mythical goddess Éiru, there’s only one sovereign nation in the world named for a real-life woman. That distinction lies with Saint Lucia, a Caribbean island nation christened in honor of St. Lucy of Syracuse, patron saint of the blind, who died around the fourth century CE. Saint Lucia was initially called Louanalao (meaning “Island of the Iguanas”) by the Indigenous Arawak people as early as 200 CE. It was in 1502 that the origins of its current name formed, when shipwrecked French sailors dubbed the place “Sainte Alousie.” It was a common practice at the time to name islands after saints, and legend has it that the sailors reached the island on December 13 — St. Lucy’s feast day. Given the date’s significance, December 13 is now celebrated in the country as the National Day of St. Lucia. The Spanish who arrived around 1511 named the island “Sancta Lucia”; the current name formed after waves of colonization by the English and French. While female namesakes are rare on a national level, one woman has lent her name to dozens of smaller locations. The name of Queen Victoria, the U.K.'s reigning monarch from 1837 to 1901, appears in the titles of locations around the globe, such as the provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada, and Zimbabwe’s breathtaking Victoria Falls. You'd be hard-pressed to find an American woman with influence so vast. Even in the USA, only a handful of places are named for women, including Barton County, Kansas — named after Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross — and Dare County, North Carolina, honoring Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents to be born in the New World.

 

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Two countries have no official capital city.
Switzerland and Nauru may not appear to have much in common, but both countries share a quirk — neither has an official capital city. While Bern is considered the de facto capital of Switzerland (it’s where the Swiss parliament, also known as the Federal Assembly, meets), there’s no established capital written into the country’s laws. As for the Pacific island of Nauru, not only is there no capital, there are no real cities of any kind, since the island is instead made up of several districts. Of those districts, Yaren is considered the de facto capital — it houses important government buildings, such as Parliament House, as well as several embassies. On the flip side, South Africa has three official capitals, the most of any country. There you can find the city of Pretoria serving as the administrative capital, Cape Town as the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein as the judicial capital. (Interesting Facts)

 

Fun Facts Visitors Don't Know About St. Lucia

by CYNTHIA LEVY | March 30, 2022

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St. Lucia is a Caribbean island paradise that mixes rocky volcanic mountains, tropical rainforest, and sandy beaches. It is instantly identifiable for its towering Pitons. With a mix between being a developed, tourist-friendly island and a rustic destination full of local character and unspoiled natural beauty, it is the ideal place for honeymooners and divers alike, making it the perfect escape from all the stress out there. The island's natural features can indeed be found everywhere, from its colorful and party-loving northern region to its tranquil and natural southern region. The Caribbean island is a haven for nature lovers with its waterfalls, sandy beaches, great seafood, and the list goes on. Here are ten interesting facts about the country that most people are unaware of when visiting St. Lucia.

 

1. This Was The Only Country To Be Named After A Woman

According to popular legend, the island of St. Lucia was named after Saint Lucia of Syracuse, who lived in the eighth century. One theory is that the island's name came from a group of French sailors who washed up on its shores on December 1, the Saint's feast day, and who were inspired to name the island after the patron saint of sailors.

 

2. A Unesco World Heritage Site, The Pitons Mountain Range Is Here In This Country

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When the Gros and Petit Pitons were designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, they formed a natural, hidden harbor near the shore near the village of Soufrière. Linked by the Piton Mitan ridge, the two mountains form a complex containing some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs, unique bird species, and unusual vegetation. This is a lovely sight to witness the beauty of St. Lucia.

 

3. They Celebrate International Jazz & Arts Festival Annually

The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, which takes place every year with a variety of activities taking place all over the nation, has a long-standing reputation as one of the most outstanding events in the region like jazz concerts, fashion exhibitions, street parties, and dance performances provide a fantastic experience for those who are fortunate enough to visit taking place all over the country.

 

4. There Are So Many Iguanas Here!

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St. Lucia is home to a large variety of indigenous fauna alongside various snakes, lizards, reptiles, and other animals. Their presence on the island is so evident that some of its initial occupants dubbed it "the island of the iguanas".

 

5. This Country Has The Only Drive-In Volcano

Natural hot springs may be found in Sulphur Springs, also known as "the only drive-in volcano in the world" in St. Lucia and "the only drive-in volcano in the Caribbean." As the name implies, visitors can drive to the edge of the springs for a breath-taking vista.

 

6. They Brew Their Own Pilsner Beer At Local Breweries

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Tourists visiting St. Lucia may be surprised to learn that, besides the island's famous Caribbean rum, Piton, a locally produced and highly regarded pilsner beer, is a local favorite. Gros Piton and Petit Piton, two of the island's most prominent volcanoes, inspire the name of their own beers. Many tourists love their beers as it has this authentic taste that can only be tasted in St. Lucia.

 

7. Saint Lucia Parrot, Or Jacquot, Is The Island's National Bird And Cannot Be Found Anywhere Else In The World

The Jacquot or St. Lucia parrot, which serves as the country's national bird, is an indigenous species on the verge of extinction in the 1970s. Throughout history, the brightly colored bird has been prevalent among the people, inspiring several songs and plays, and even appearing on postage stamps.

 

8. Saint Lucia Holds An Annual "Festival Of The Language" In Honor Of This Regional Variety Of French

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Annually, St. Lucia holds an annual Festival of Language to celebrate shared linguistic and cultural history as the country is one of the Francophonie countries among 88 nations worldwide. The French language will be promoted as part of the month-long celebration. Students and the general public encourage multilingualism and foreign language abilities through this joyous festival.

 

9. Roseau Valley Has More Than A Dozen Types Of Rum

Rum production is a significant industry in St Lucia, as it is in many other Caribbean places. A vast banana plantation may be found here, along with a bevy of distilleries that transform sweet sugar cane into delightful rums in the Roseau Valley. There are more than 12 types of rum in the country that its own locals and even tourists can taste various rums to find their favorite.

 

10. Visitors Can Create Their Own Chocolate Bar Here In St. Lucia

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Tourists love Caribbean desserts, and while Central America may be considered the originator of chocolate, the Caribbean has also had a long tradition of chocolate manufacturing. Chocolate has been produced on the island of St Lucia since the 1700s, thanks to the island's ideal growing circumstances, which include volcanic soil, sunlight, and rain. For many years, the banana was the most critical crop in St Lucia. However, changes in trade agreements in the past had resulted in the collapse of the banana trade, prompting local farmers to return to the cacao farming industry in large numbers. Today, visitors and their locals can make their own chocolate bars through some of the famous chocolate factories and the touring industry in St. Lucia.

 

Source: Facts About Saint Lucia | Facts You Might Not Know About Saint Lucia

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - MEDICAL DRAMAS

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Did you know... What is it that draws us to medical dramas? Is it the sense of urgency whenever we’re hooked to watching doctors frantically try and save someone’s life? Are the smokey romances that spark up between co-workers? Whatever the case is, medical dramas have been a reliable staple on television for decades, and if you need to have your fix of hospital drama, here are some of the best medical dramas that will surely keep you talking for days to come. (KAREEM GANTT | February 05, 2022)

 

Which Medical Shows Are Most Realistic? Ranking ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘The Good Doctor’ & More
by Kat Thieme | JULY 5, 2022

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Medical shows on TV aren’t 100 percent accurate, but some are definitely closer to reality than others. Over 20 years after ER set the tone, doctor-based series are still all the rage, with newer hits like New Amsterdam and The Good Doctor and established favorites like Grey’s Anatomy. So we decided to do a little investigating into which are most true-to-life, including taking a look at ones off the air like the aforementioned ER and Code BlackFrom doctors doing the work of nurses to surgeons having an impossibly wide range of specialties, some creative licenses are being taken. Considering these medical inaccuracies, we ranked 10 popular hospital shows on a scale from 1 (totally unrealistic) to 10 (doctor-approved). (But don’t let that affect your binging; Private Practice is worth the watch on Netflix.) 

 

1. Grey’s Anatomy (2005-Present) Score: 3/10

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It may be one of the most well-known medical shows on TV, but Grey’s is the least accurate when it comes to hospital life. There are the frequent sexcapades in hospital closets, interns performing surgeries and bypassing hospital superiors, and residents routinely making egregious mistakes without repercussions. In other words, Grey’s misses the mark when it comes to realism.

 

2. Private Practice (2007-2013) Score: 3/10

The Grey’s spinoff was just as over-the-top with drama and relationships. Not to mention, there are the extraordinary cases and crazy situations. But in reality, day-to-day hospital life simply isn’t that exciting.

 

3. House (2004-2012) Score: 4/10

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The most obvious flaw in House is that, despite his obvious opioid addiction, Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) is still able to practice medicine. Sadly, addiction among doctors can be a reality, but Dr. House’s constant pill-popping and inappropriate behavior would certainly lose him his medical license. On top of that, one small group of doctors performs all of the testing, focuses on one patient at a time, and faces one-in-a-million cases every episode.

 

4. The Resident (2018-Present) Score: 5/10

On top of the usual medical show mistakes, The Resident features frequent hospital hookups and even had one character whip out her phone in the OR to take a selfie. With that ratio of realism to entertainment, The Resident lands in the middle of the pack.

 

5. New Amsterdam (2018-Present) Score: 6/10

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NBC’s medical drama may be inspired by one of America’s oldest hospitals, but its inspiration doesn’t necessarily translate into accuracy. Sure, New Amsterdam has mostly accurate depictions of medical treatment, but the over-the-top drama knocks it down a few pegs.

 

6. The Good Doctor (2017-Present) Score: 6/10

ABC’s hit does have its fair share of medical errors — walking into an OR without a mask, unnecessarily removal of organs — but compared to other medical shows, it’s fairly accurate when it comes to medical jargon, diagnoses, and treatments. “Some [cases] do seem so outlandish, but the fact is they’re really medical truth,” lead medical consultant Dr. Oren Gottfried shared.

 

7. ER (1994-2009) - Score: 7/10

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ER accurately demonstrates how difficult it is to be an emergency doctor — even if the NBC drama did make some common mistakes. For instance, they frequently showed residents doing the work of nurses, and they often exaggerated how effective CPR actually is.

 

8. Code Black (2015-2018) Score: 7/10

One of the most prominent issues with this show is the name itself. CBS defines “code black” as the term for when an ER is overcrowded and understaffed. However, this term can mean very different things for different hospitals, including bomb threats and personal threats. That said, many real-life nurses have been vocal about the show’s accuracy, which earns it a 7/10.

 

9.  Chicago Med (2015-Present) Score: 8/10

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Dick Wolf’s Chicago Med is one of the more realistic hospital shows on TV. The series medical advisor, Andrew Dennis, estimates the medicine to be about 85 percent accurate. The writers also follow the rule that only published cases can be used.

 

10. Scrubs (2001-2010) Score: 9/10

Surprisingly, TV comedy Scrubs ranks as the most realistic medical show with an overall score of an 9/10. Though not perfect — no medical show is — Scrubs manages to capture the residency training process and the dynamics of a hospital. Plus, it has realistic cases!

 

 

Source: Best TV Medical Dramas Ranked  |  Facts About Realistic-Accurate Medical TV Shows

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Fact of the Day - THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY

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Did you know.... From 1970 to 1974, The Partridge Family was one of, if not the most popular shows on television. The story was unique, which is probably made us all love it. Shirley Partridge was a widowed working mother who was left to take care of five kids. She decided, obviously, to form a band with all the children and travel the country in a decked out school bus. (By Meg | November 30, 2017)

 

Surprising Facts About ‘The Partridge Family’
by Laurie Ulster | August 19, 2019 

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What do Richard Pryor, Rob Reiner, and Ronald Reagan’s daughter Maureen have in common? They were all guest stars on the The Partridge Family. The show hit the air in 1970 and quickly became a hit, transforming velour pantsuits, neck ruffles, and David Cassidy into national obsessions. For four seasons, TV viewers sang along with Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones and her fictional family, played by Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Brian Forster, and Jones’ stepson David Cassidy. Dave Madden rounded out the group as manager Reuben Kincaid. Based on the real-life singing family The Cowsills, the show had a sweet innocence to it, steering viewers through the early 70s with a gentle, musical hand. It wasn’t exactly counterculture, but TV had never seen anything like it, and the ratings skyrocketed. So did album sales; despite the fact that Shirley Jones and David Cassidy were the only two cast members who actually performed on Partridge Family Records, the whole group was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy in 1971. (They lost to The Carpenters.) Their biggest hit, “I Think I Love You,” went to #1 on the Billboard charts in 1970, outselling The Beatles’ “Let It Be.” The show itself was nominated for a Best TV show Golden Globe two years in a row. To celebrate the 1970s staple, we’re offering up some fun facts that may surprise you.

 

1. Shirley Jones could’ve been Carol Brady instead of Shirley Partridge.

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Shirley Jones has had a bit of a magical career. Her very first audition put her in front of Broadway legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein within an hour, and cast in the chorus of South Pacific that same day. Within a year, she was starring in the movie version of Oklahoma!. She became a big star, initially known for ingénue roles in musicals, but then showed off her dramatic chops by winning an Oscar for Elmer Gantry. By 1970, Jones was raising three boys with husband Jack Cassidy, was interested in doing a steady TV series. She was offered the role of Carol Brady on another new series scheduled for that fall called The Brady Bunch. She turned it down, saying she didn’t want to spend all of of her scenes in the kitchen making sandwiches. (Clearly they hadn’t planned the three-parter Hawaii episode yet.) Instead, she took the role of Shirley Partridge, who quits her job as a bank teller to join her kids’ singing group and guide them through superstardom.

 

2. Screen Gems (Sony) made millions off the show, and kept it to themselves.
While the show was a hit and record sales were topping the charts, the cast wasn’t getting any richer. Most egregious was the exploitation of David Cassidy, who had become a teen idol and superstar. He was selling out stadiums and getting mobbed by fans everywhere he went, so beloved by teenage girls that going out in public was hazardous. He would come home to find naked women in his house, or camping out in his car. Products featuring his likeness were everywhere. Companies were making a fortune off of his image, and his contract didn’t require them to pay him any royalties or even ask his permission. Girls who paid money to join the David Cassidy fan club had no idea that their allowances were lining the pockets of people he didn’t know or authorize to use his name. Lunch boxes, t-shirts, posters, board games, and everything else you can think of were plastered with his face, but he was earning a flat salary of $600 a week. He was only able to change the terms of his contract when his manager realized that he’d been under 18 when he signed. Oops! She was finally able to renegotiate and give him a piece of the action as well as a new weekly salary reflective of his star status. Cassidy did find his own way to rebel against the squeaky-clean image created by the studio. In May of 1972 he gave a provocative interview to Rolling Stone Magazine. The article talked about his drug use as well as his sexual prowess. (Even his brothers talked about how well-endowed he was, giving him the nickname “Donk.”) To prove that he was not the manufactured teen idol being touted by the press, he posed nude on the cover, in a photo by Annie Leibovitz. It’s hard to imagine the impact of David Cassidy’s nude Rolling Stone cover in a post-Miley Cyrus world, but at the time, people thought it would ruin his career. He may have been hoping for that all along.

 

3. Danny Bonaduce was a handful on set as well as on screen.

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Smart aleck Danny B didn’t have to stretch that far to play smart aleck Danny P. He was well-liked but notorious for acting up on set; after all, he was still a kid. One day an exasperated but maternal Shirley Jones forgot herself and ordered him upstairs to his room, despite the fact that the set didn’t actually have an upstairs and she wasn’t really his mom. Another time when his cast mates thought he was getting too big for his britches, they got Susan Dey to pour milk over his head, which ultimately found its way into an episode (although it was done to Keith instead of Danny). AT 11, Bonaduce also had a hard time remembering his lines, and once had to do 36 takes to get a relatively uncomplicated scene completed. Many people remember his off-screen post-Partridge Family adventures—which included drugs, wrestling matches with other TV celebrities, raunchy radio shows, and various run-ins with the law—but it comes as less of a surprise with a little background. Bonaduce grew up in a volatile, unhappy household. His father beat him regularly, even when he was starring in a hit TV series, and co-star Dave Madden often let him stay over at his house, acting like something of a father figure to him. Shirley Jones and David Cassidy were close to him as well.

 

4. There were two Chris Partridges, as well as some other disappearing cast members.

At the beginning of the show, Chris Partridge was played by Jeremy Gelbwaks. While the story told by the studio was that the Gelbwaks family moved away, the truth is that every cast member and every crew member complained about his behavior. The kid was not ready to work. He was replaced in the second season by Brian Forster, who played Chris for the rest of the series, and was by all accounts terrific to work with. He didn’t really play the drums, but worked hard to learn enough to look the part. Interestingly, the studio didn’t receive even one letter about the switch. In addition to a disappearing Chris, there was also a disappearing dog. Much like the Brady family’s Tiger, the Partridges’ dog Simone vanished shortly after season 1 and was never spoken of again. Also like the Bradys, a new, much younger cast member was brought in (in a shark-jumping moment for both shows) at the 11th hour to try to raise sagging ratings. It didn’t work, and he was soon sent packing.

 

5. The guest star list will blow your mind.

 

The Partridge Family featured quite a few guest stars. . .older ones making the TV circuit, as well as up-and-comers who would eventually become stars in their own right. A very young, VERY pre-Taxi Driver Jodie Foster turned up as the daughter of one of Shirley’s suitors (played by 70s star Bert Convy), whose crush on Danny led to her punching him in the eye. Farrah Fawcett had a cameo as a young hottie enlisted to help Danny and Reuben discredit TV vet (and future M*A*S*H star) Harry Morgan, and everyone on set could see she’d be a star one day. Fellow Charlie’s Angels Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd had their moments on the show as well. Other notables included Michael Ontkean (Twin Peaks), Ray Bolger and Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz), Louis Gosset, Jr., Mark Hamill (who wouldn’t become Luke Skywalker for another few years, but played Laurie’s boyfriend), Charlotte Rae (The Facts of Life), Tony Geary (General Hospital), Nancy Walker (Rhoda), and in an in uncredited appearance, Johnny Cash. Richard Pryor was so drugged that he wasn’t a whole lot of fun on set. Dick Clark wasn’t either, according to Shirley Jones, although he’d go on to co-host The Other Half with Danny Bonaduce a few decades later. That’s a lot of star power, but the one who made the biggest impact was future Family Ties mom Meredith Baxter. She and David Cassidy began a brief but intense relationship. His schedule of touring and appearances made it almost impossible for them to be together, however, and she broke his heart when she was cast in a new series, Bridget Loves Bernie, and fell in love with her co-star David Birney.

 

6. The Partridge family’s house looks familiar for a reason.
Viewers with sharp eyes may have recognized the house the Partridges lived in, especially if they were watching other prime time shows of the same era. Samantha and Darrin Stevens’ nosey neighbors, the Kravitzes, lived in the very same house on Bewitched. The block was one used by other shows like I Dream of Jeannie, and had been seen previously on Dennis the Menace and The Donna Reed Show. There were times when the Stevens’ house was particularly prominent as the Partridge family’s bus drove by. The house later turned up in the Reese Witherspoon movie Pleasantville.

 

7. Susan Dey had a crush on David Cassidy the entire time they were filming.

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They played brother and sister, but they were still teenagers. Susan Dey was two years younger than David Cassidy, but the two really clicked, and while he was happy with what he thought was a close and innocent friendship, she was pining for him. He’d come back from his tours and concerts and regale her with stories of the girls who followed him around, begging to sleep with him and often succeeding, and she listened as a good friend would, never saying a word about her true feelings. Shirley Jones finally took Cassidy aside to tell him he was battering Dey’s heart with every word, and he realized he’d been an idiot. They eventually gave a romantic relationship a quick shot once the series was over, but it didn’t really work out between them. These days, they don’t speak, to Cassidy’s dismay, although they’ve both long since moved on to separate marriages and families. In 1974, after 96 episodes and 8 albums, the series came to an end. David Cassidy had already said he wouldn’t come back for another season, and the network had already moved it to a new time slot, scheduling it against the #1 show in the country, All In The Family. The times they were a-changing. Susan Dey went on to star in L.A. Law, and the others went their separate ways. The cast sometimes reunited for various TV specials, including a strangely combined Thanksgiving event with the cast of My Three Sons, and a mini-reunion on The Arsenio Hall ShowThe show was still a hit in syndication, and even an award-winner again, thanks to the TV Land Awards, scooping up awards for Best Fashion Plate (David Cassidy) and Favorite Teen Dream (Susan Dey).

 

One last fun fact: Much like other shows of the time, there was an animated spinoff of the show; theirs was called Partridge Family, 2200 A.D. Shirley Jones and David Cassidy steered completely clear of it, and Dave Madden and Susan Dey kept their involvement very limited. Good call.

 

 

 

“We had a dream we’d go travelin’ together


And spread a little lovin’ if we’ll keep movin’ on


Somethin’ always happens whenever we’re together


We get a happy feelin’ when we’re singin’ a song.”

C’mon get happy! 

Source: Facts About The Partridge Family  |  Startling Facts About The Partridge Family

 

 

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Fact of the Day - BUTTERFLIES

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Did you know.... Butterflies taste through their feet.
The animal kingdom is a wide and varied world, and Mother Nature has come up with some surprising ways to accomplish a variety of feats. Batssee” with their ears, snakessmell” with their tongue, and perhaps most strangely of all, butterfliestaste” with their feet. Although some of a butterfly’s taste receptors are located on their tube-shaped mouthparts and antennae, most are found on their tarsus, or the bottom segment of their legs. The location of these receptors may seem odd, but they’re vital to a butterfly’s survival. 

 

Before a butterfly transforms into an adult, it spends its early days as a caterpillar gorging on surrounding plant material and growing, in some cases, around 1,000 times its birth weight. Some caterpillars can munch on a family of plants; the black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), for example, is also known as the “parsley worm” because it will eat several plants related to parsley, such as carrots, celery, and parsnips. However, the caterpillar of an endangered monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) only eats milkweed. Whether a “generalist” or a “specialist” eater, a butterfly uses its feet to analyze a leaf’s chemicals, a process called “contact chemoreception.” The chemoreceptors are especially important in allowing female butterflies to “taste” if a plant is safe for her larvae, who will start eating it shortly after hatching. The process isn’t perfect, however. In the monarch butterfly’s case, it can sometimes be tricked into laying its eggs on an invasive plant species, such as black swallow-wort, causing the larvae to die within a few days. That’s why ongoing conservation efforts focus on both planting native milkweed and eliminating any invasive competitors, to make the world safer for monarchs — and their feet. (Interesting Facts)

 

Fascinating Facts About Butterflies

by Meganne Natale  |  March 14, 2022 |  Animals in the Wild blog

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Let’s put on hold the question of the chicken and the egg—what we really want to know is which came first: the flower or the butterfly? You may be surprised to learn that butterflies first appeared before flowering plants about 200 million years ago. With a lineage so long, these beautiful animals are full of surprises. To celebrate National Learn About Butterflies Day, read on for nine fascinating facts about butterflies.

 

1. Butterflies’ wings follow two distinct color forms.
These forms, called pigment and structural, can be found alone or in combination on a butterfly’s wings. True to its name, pigment colors tend to be bright and inky, remaining definite regardless of the amount of light present. Structural colors tend to shift with the light, producing a "rainbow" or iridescent effect. An example of structurally colored wings can be found on the morpho butterfly.

 

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The morpho butterfly has a combination of both pigment (black) and structural (blue) coloring.

 

2. Only about 4% of the world’s species of butterflies are found in the US.
Despite the 17,500 species of butterflies that currently exist, only about 750 of those live in the US, with the most abundant being the cabbage white butterfly.

 

3. Butterflies have more to them than meets (our) eye.
Did you know that butterflies can see colors that we cannot? This is because they can perceive ultraviolet light, which is outside the scope of our visual capabilities. Additionally, many butterflies’ wings include these “unknown” ultraviolet colors to attract mates.

 

4. Butterflies perform mimicry to better protect themselves from predators.
Take a look at the photo of a monarch butterfly below—now look again, because it’s actually the cunning viceroy butterfly posing as a monarch! It was originally thought that, like other wild animals who perform mimicry, viceroy butterfliestransform” into monarchs for protection against predators (the monarch’s bright colors indicate that it is toxic to birds, a common predator). However, viceroys are also naturally toxic, so this mutual mimicry ultimately proves beneficial to both species of butterflies.

 

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5. Butterflies drink... turtle tears?
An incredible video of butterflies in the Peruvian Amazon shows them drinking the tears of turtles. Although it sounds like something out of a fairytale, butterflies actually have a practical reason for this behavior: sodium. Because butterflies cannot obtain sodium from their usual diet of floral nectar, they must search for sodium elsewhere; this could be in feces, dirt, and yes—turtle tears.

 

6. Butterflies’ pollinating capabilities are even more crucial to ecosystems than you may think.
We know that bees are excellent pollinators, but butterflies are pretty impressive sidekicks. This is partly because butterflies pollinate cotton flowers, a part of the cotton plant that bees naturally do not frequent, thus boosting cotton harvest. This type of pollination—where multiple insects work to pollinate different portions of the same plant—is called pollination complementarity, and it occurs with other plants too, like almonds.

 

7. Most adult butterflies only live for 1-2 weeks.
The life span of an adult butterfly is particularly short, but the growth process beforehand can be much longer. Comprised of four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis), and finally adult butterfly, the complete life cycle of a butterfly from egg to adulthood can last anywhere from 30 days to multiple years.

 

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Fully formed adult butterfly next to a pupa (right).

 

8. Monarch butterflies migrate as far as 3,000 miles.
Signaled by the cooler weather and shorter days, monarch butterflies from the northern US and Canada begin their journey towards Mexico in search of warmer weather. Alternatively, monarchs from across the western region of the US migrate to the coast of California for the winter and then once again scatter amongst other western states when spring arrives.

 

9. Butterflies, among other wild animals, are harmed by factory farming.
When new factory farms are built, large swaths of land—butterflies’ habitats and food sources—are destroyed. This land is used to grow corn and soy to feed farmed animals. Further, a toxic pesticide applied to these crops, called glyphosate, is upsetting monarch butterflies’ migratory patterns and driving them toward extinction. This past winter, only 1,914 monarchs were recorded overwintering on the California coast — the lowest number ever recorded, down from 30,000 last year and 1.2 million just two decades ago.

 

 

Source: Interesting Facts About Butterflies  |  Facts About Butterflies

 

 

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Fact of the Day - CRICKETS

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Did you know... Crickets are orthopteran insects which are related to bush crickets, and, more distantly, to grasshoppers. In older literature, such as Imms, "crickets" were placed at the family level, but contemporary authorities including Otte now place them in the superfamily Grylloidea. The word has been used in combination to describe more distantly related taxa[3] in the suborder Ensifera, such as king crickets and mole crickets. (Wikipedia)

 

Cute Facts About Crickets
By Rosemary Mosco | January 14, 2019

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They’re insects that invade our homes, but they’re beloved around the world. They’re living thermometers with ears on their knees, and they just might save the world. Here are 11 surprising (and often adorable) facts about crickets.

 

1. Crickets were named for the sounds they make.
The word cricket comes from the Old French word criquet, and refers to the cricket’s song—people once thought that those repeated chirps sounded like “criquet … criquet … criquet.” 
Interestingly, the name for the sport of cricket has a totally different origin: it comes from an Old French word for goal post.

 

2. They don't make sound the way you think they do.

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How do crickets chirp? Old-timey illustrators sidestepped this question by drawing them playing tiny violins. There’s a persistent myth that crickets rub their legs together to make sound. In fact, they sing with their wings. Run your finger down the teeth of a comb and you’ll hear an almost musical rattle. Crickets make sound in a similar way. They rub a scraping organ on one wing against a comb-like organ on the other. Each cricket species has distinctive noise-making structures that produce unique sounds. Scientists have even managed to recreate the sound of an extinct cricket relative, a fossilized Jurassic bush cricket (katydid), by examining the shape of its wings.

 

3. Most female crickets don't sing.
That cricket in your house that’s endlessly chirping away? It’s probably a male. Most female crickets lack those sound-making wing structures. There are exceptions: Some female mole crickets (relatives of “true” crickets) sing. And males of some cricket species never make a peep. 
So why do male crickets (usually) chirp?

 

4. Crickets sing out of love—and anger.
It’s all about securing a mate. But crickets don’t just sing a pretty song and wait for the admirers to trickle in. Many of them have a whole repertoire of calls: There’s one for attracting females from afar, another for close-up courtship, and even a triumphal after-mating song. Crickets also sing to intimidate rival males, and some of a male’s more romantic tunes may trigger nearby females to fight each other.

 

5. You can use cricket songs as a thermometer.

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Crickets call more frequently when the weather gets hotter. It’s such a proven phenomenon that you can use it to calculate the temperature. The snowy tree cricket’s gentle calls seem to match the heat especially accurately. The Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends that you count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 to get the temperature in Fahrenheit.

 

6. Some crickets have evolved to stay silent.
A particular fly species has invaded the island of Kauai in Hawaii, and it’s the stuff of cricket nightmares: It uses its incredibly sophisticated hearing system to find a singing cricket and drop maggots on it. Those maggots burrow into their victim and devour it from the inside. 
Male crickets on Kauai have responded in a remarkable way. They’ve evolved wings more like a female cricket’s, which means they’ve lost the ability to chirp. Those silent, safe crickets compensate for their lack of courtship songs by spending more time on the move [PDF], which improves their chances of running into potential mates.

 

7. Crickets listen with their legs.
Insects have ears in weird places. Those cricket-eating parasitic flies, for example, have ears just below their head and neck. When a butterfly lands and folds up its wings, it’s exposing its ears. And cricket ears are tiny spots, just a fraction of a millimeter long, on their front legs just below the knees. They’re some of the smallest ears of any animal, but they’re highly sensitive.

 

8. There's a whole rainbow of crickets.

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If you’ve found a cricket in your house or yard, chances are that it’s black or brownish. But that somber insect has some pretty colorful relatives. There’s the red-headed bush cricket, also known as the handsome trig—and it’s, well, pretty handsome for a cricket. The snowy tree cricket is pastel green with wings shaped like tennis rackets. And if you visit the tropics, where there are more cricket species than anywhere else, you might spot this intricately patterned Nisitrus speciesThat’s just the so-called “true” crickets, members of the family Gryllidae. People also use the word cricket for many close Gryllidae relatives, and they’re an amazing bunch of insects ...

 

9. Crickets have rock star relatives.
One group of cricket relatives is the mole crickets. These insects have big claws and live underground. To attract mates, they throw little rock concerts: They dig horn-shaped burrows, turning their homes into amplifiers that make their calls extra loud. 
Then there are the bush crickets, or katydids, which come in hot pink and other startling hues. And some katydids look so much like leaves, complete with dried patches, chew marks, and holes, that you’ve probably walked right past them without realizing you’re being watched. Another group of cricket relatives, New Zealand’s wetas, includes enormous insects that can outweigh a mouse. The name weta comes from a Maori word for “god of ugly things.” Weta Workshop, the company that created props, costumes, and creatures for the Lord of the Rings films, took its name from these otherworldly insects.

 

10. People love crickets.
Insects often get a bad rap, but people of many cultures adore crickets. Chinese people have long kept these insects as good luck charms—and for cricket-on-cricket battles. Crickets are beloved in Japan, especially for their musical songs. In Brazil, some species are considered to be signs of hope or incoming wealth (though others are thought to be omens of illness and death). Charles Dickens wrote a tale called The Cricket on the Hearth that featured a cricket acting as a household’s guardian angel. And who could forget Disney’s Jiminy Cricket, and Cri-Kee from Mulan? Few other insects have received the cute Disney treatment.

 

11. Crickets live in our homes.

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House Cricket
Many types of crickets will happily live in and around houses. House crickets, which are brownish and probably native to Asia, breed inside homes in many cities around the world. Black-colored field crickets will accidentally wander into buildings. And one cricket relative, the greenhouse camel cricket, has been quietly invading residences in the eastern U.S. 
Fortunately, these household crickets are mostly harmless. Their poop may stain the curtains, and in rare cases they’ll nibble clothing—but usually the worst they’ll do is annoy you with their incessant calls.

 

12. Crickets just might save the world.
Imagine a high-protein food that’s packed with vitamins. It’s more efficient to produce than conventional meats, and it generates way less greenhouse gas. This superfood? Yup, it’s crickets. You can now purchase these insects in a variety of forms that are mercifully free of twitching legs—including flour. If westerners can overcome their squeamishness about eating insects, then crickets just may be the future of food.

 

 

Source: Wikipedia - Cricket (insect)  |  Facts About Crickets

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Fact of the Day - SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAY

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Did you know... September is the most common month for birthdays in the U.S.
The most common birthday in America is September 9, and the second-most common is September 19. In fact, nine of the 10 most popular U.S. birthdays fall between September 9 and September 20 — making September the most common month for birthdays in the U.S. overall, at least based on data from 1994 to 2014. The reason for September's popularity may be fairly simple. Flipping the calendar back nine months brings us to December, when people tend to have more time off for the holidays and thus more reason to celebrate in a variety of ways. In addition to being in good company, fall babies are blessed with good fortune and/or good genes, as people born in October are far more likely to live until 100, and those born in September and November often live longer as well (although scientists still aren’t sure exactly why).  On the other end of the spectrum are the year’s biggest holidays, with December 25 being the least common birthday — in the 20 years of data compiled by data journalist Matt Stiles, there were even fewer babies born on Christmas than on February 29. Rounding out the bottom four are January 1, December 24, and July 4, respectively. One reason for this is that so many births are scheduled, either by cesarean or induced labor, and doctors generally don’t schedule births on the holidays when they may not be working. This might also shed some light on why September births are so popular, according to some — with no major holidays that month aside from Labor Day, there’s less reason for soon-to-be parents to worry about hospitals being short-staffed the way they might be on Christmas or New Year’s Day.

 

You have more birthday twins than you realize.
The next time you’re in a room with 22 other people, ask them their birthdays — there’s a 50% chance that two people in that group will share a birthday. This statistical oddity, known as both the birthday paradox and birthday problem, is shocking at first, but borne out by some math. Adding up every possible combination for everyone in the room (22+ 21 + 20 etc.) comes out to 253 chances of a shared birthday. Half of 365 is 182.5, which is to say that 253 represents well over half the number of days in a year. (Even though some birthdays are more common than others, the difference is not that great, unless you’re born on a holiday or February 29.) Increase the number of people in that room to 75 and there’s a 99.9% chance two of them will have the same birthday.

 

Fascinating Facts About September Babies
By Alexia Dellner | September 18, 2017

We wouldn’t go as far as to say that September babies are the best or anything, but it turns out that they might be tallest and share their birthday with Beyoncé (so yeah, pretty awesome). Here, nine fun facts to know about people born in September.

 

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They Share Their Birthdays With a Lot of People

It turns out that September is the busiest month for births, with September 9 clocking in as the most common birthday in the U.S. Guess that means a lot of parents are busy getting busy around the holiday season. (Hey, that’s one way to keep warm.)   They May Have the Upper Hand at School In many schools across the country, the cutoff date for starting kindergarten is September 1, which means that September babies are often the oldest and most developed in their class. A recent study from the University of Toronto, Northwestern University and the University of Florida found that this advantage begins around age five and carries through as kids get older. The researchers found that September babies are more likely to attend college and less likely to get sent to jail for committing a juvenile crime.

 

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They’re More Likely to Live to 100

A study from the University of Chicago found that those born between September and November are more likely to live to the age of 100 than those born in other months of the year. Researchers hypothesized that the reason is because seasonal infections or seasonal vitamin deficiency early in life can cause long-lasting damage to a person’s health. 

 

They’re Either Virgos or Libras

Virgos (born between August 23 and September 22) are said to be loyal, dedicated and hardworking while Libras (born between September 23 and October 22) are sociable, charming and sincere. 

 

They May Be Taller Than Their Friends

One study from Bristol University in the U.K. found that kids born in late summer and early autumn were slightly taller (by 5mm) than babies born in winter and spring. The most likely reason? Moms-to-be get more sun exposure and vitamin D in the third trimester, which aids the baby’s growth.

 

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They Have Stronger Bones

The same Bristol University study found that kids born in late summer and early autumn had thicker bones (by 12.75 square centimeters) than those born at other times. Which is good news for September babies since wider bones are thought to be stronger and less prone to breaking.

 

Their Birthstone Is Sapphire

Aka the beautiful blue gem that will add instant sophistication to any outfit. It’s also the birthstone that is associated with loyalty and integrity.

 

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They’re More Prone to Asthma

They may have stronger bones, but a Vanderbilt University study found that those born during autumn months are 30 percent more likely to suffer from asthma (sorry). Researchers think it’s because babies born right before winter are more susceptible to colds and viral infections.

 

They Share Their Birth Month with Some Pretty Awesome People

Including Beyoncé (September 4), Bill Murray (September 21), Sophia Loren (September 20) and Jimmy Fallon (September 19). Did we mention Beyoncé?

 

Their Birth Flower Is Morning Glory

These beautiful blue trumpets bloom in the early hours and are symbols of affection. In other words, they’re the perfect birthday gift. Happy birthday, September babies!

 

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Source: Facts About September Birthdays | September Baby Facts

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Fact of the Day - VOICE ACTORS

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Did you know... Think back to all the times you fell in love with an animated character. Sure, their personality was great, their storyline superb — but an important factor, which is often easily overlooked, is their voice. The brains behind providing that much-needed layer of characterisation are voice actors, who use their talents to breathe life into the things we watch and consume. To find out more about the industry and the life of a voice actor, BuzzFeed chatted to Kari Wahlgren, who has voiced over 700 different characters in her career so far.  (Isha Bassi | May 2020)

 

Famous Voice Actors You May Not Recognize (But You’ve Definitely Heard)

by Interesting Facts

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Voice actors are some of the most versatile performers in television, film, and more, lending their considerable talents to animation, live action, audiobooks, and other beloved media. These golden-tongued entertainers are behind some of the most recognizable characters in pop culture, from Bugs Bunny to SpongeBob SquarePants and Darth Vader. Though some may not be household names, the dulcet tones of these seven actors have echoed throughout Hollywood for years.

 

1. Mel Blanc

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Known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc is widely considered one of the greatest voice actors of all time, and was a pioneer during the golden age of American animation. Blanc is credited with providing the voices for an estimated 90% of all Warner Bros. characters during the 1940s and 1950s, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. Overall, he crafted voices for some 3,000 cartoon characters throughout his prolific six-decade career. Blanc began voice acting in 1923, at the age of 15, with a singing role on the KGW radio program Stories by Aunt Nell. His popularity skyrocketed after he booked his first gig with Warner Bros. in 1937, as the character Porky Pig in the short film Porky’s Road Race. Blanc debuted the voice for Daffy Duck later that year, and introduced Bugs Bunny in 1940’s A Wild Hare. Over the following decades, Blanc continued to carve out an unparalleled legacy in his field, voicing many other memorable animated characters, including Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons. Blanc worked continuously through the 1980s, up until his death in 1989.

 

2. June Foray

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While June Foray had a diminutive stature — standing only 4 feet, 11 inches tall — she was an absolute giant in voice acting history. By the age of 12, Foray was providing voices on a local radio program in Massachusetts, and she later moved to Los Angeles to begin a film career in the 1940s. That decision proved extremely fruitful, as Foray caught the attention of Walt Disney, who hired her to voice Lucifer the cat in 1950’s Cinderella. In 1959, Foray voiced Rocky the Flying Squirrel in the famous Rocky & Bullwinkle duo, which became one of her signature characters. Throughout her legendary career, which lasted until the early 2010s (she died in 2017 at the age of 99), Foray was widely beloved in the industry. Animator Chuck Jones once said, “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc is the male June Foray.”

 

3. Mark Hamill

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He may be best known for portraying Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, but Mark Hamill has also had a prolific voice acting career since the 1970s. Prior to his time as a Jedi, Hamill voiced various guest roles on The New Scooby-Doo Movies television series in the early part of that decade. But it was his role as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992 to 1995, that would cement Hamill’s legacy as a voice actor. He reprised the role for the Batman: Arkham video game series, and his portrayal of the Joker inspired countless other versions of the character that came later. Interestingly, Luke Skywalker isn’t Hamill’s only Star Wars role, either — he voiced an alien named Boolio in a cameo for 2019’s Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

 

4. Nancy Cartwright

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The Simpsons features a who’s who of talented voice actors, from Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) to Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns). One of the most famous voices on the long-running animated show is that of Nancy Cartwright, who plays Bart Simpson. Cartwright has voiced the young prankster since The Simpsons began over 30 years ago, delivering signature lines such as “Eat my shorts” and “Don’t have a cow, man.” Cartwright also voices the characters of Ralph Wiggum and Nelson Muntz, and even provides the trademark sucking sound for one-year-old Maggie Simpson. Her portrayal of famous animated children doesn’t end there: She also voiced Chuckie Finster on Rugrats from 2001 until 2004 and again for the 2022 reboot of the popular animated children’s series.

 

5. Tom Kenny

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You definitely won’t find Tom Kenny in a pineapple under the sea, though his most famous character does call one home. The voice behind the star of SpongeBob SquarePants, which premiered in 1999, Kenny has had an extensive career in children’s animation, also voicing roles in The Powerpuff Girls, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Adventure Time. While working as a stand-up comedian prior to voice acting, Kenny once performed in front of an executive from the Cartoon Network, who scouted him to work in animation. Shortly after, Kenny was hired for his first major role playing Heffer the cow on Rocko’s Modern Life, which ran from 1993 to 1996. During his time as a voice actor, Kenny has won three Annie Awards and two Daytime Emmys.

 

6. James Earl Jones

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Throughout his six-decade career — both on-camera and behind the mic — James Earl Jones has demonstrated remarkable versatility: He has voiced everyone from the evilest of villains to some of Hollywood’s most memorable heroes. Those roles include the dastardly sith lord Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise and the king of the jungle Mufasa from 1994’s The Lion King. While Darth Vader was physically portrayed by English actor David Prowse, Jones’ voice gave the character his signature intimidating bravado. Jones is so synonymous with Darth Vader that he has reprised the role several times, most recently for the 2022 Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. Jones also returned to voice the character of Mufasa in the 2019 CGI-heavy remake.

 

7. Frank Welker
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He may not be a household name, but Frank Welker is the third-highest-grossing actor of all time, according to film industry data website The Numbers, finishing just behind Stan Lee and Samuel L. Jackson. Welker rose to stardom in 1969, when he voiced Fred Jones on the animated series Scooby Doo, Where Are You! More recently, Welker has lent his voice to films such as the Transformers series, The Smurfs, and Mortal Kombat. Welker has also voiced Smokey Bear in commercials about preventing forest fires, Inspector Gadget in the 1983 animated TV series of the same name, and several of the titular characters in 1984’s Muppet Babies. With such an extensive résumé, Welker may just be the most famous actor you’ve heard but never heard of.

 

 

Source: Facts About Voice Acting That You'll No Doubt Find Interesting |  Facts About Voice Actors

 

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Fact of the Day - TIGERS

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Did you know... The pattern of every tiger’s stripes is unique.
Not unlike human fingerprints, the pattern of every tiger’s stripes is one of a kind. And though those markings are invariably beautiful, they aren’t just for decoration. Biologists refer to tiger stripes as an example of disruptive coloration, as their vertical slashes help them hide in plain sight by breaking up their shape and size so they blend in with tall grass, trees, and other camouflage-friendly environments. Tigers are solitary hunters who ambush their prey, so the ability to remain undetected while on the hunt is key to their survival. They’re also helped by the fact that their prey don’t see colors the way we do. Deer, for instance, can process short and mid-wavelength colors such as green and blue but not long wavelength hues such as red and orange. That means a tiger lurking in the grass won’t look bright orange — it will actually appear green to its prey, making it difficult to differentiate from its surroundings. Markings also differ among subspecies, with Sumatran tigers having the narrowest stripes and Siberian tigers having fewer than the rest of their big cat brethren. 

 

Tigers have stripes on their skin as well as their fur.
It isn’t just a tiger’s fur that’s striped. Their skin is similarly marked, and the pattern mirrors that of their fur. Scientists have compared this to a beard’s five-o’clock shadow, as a tiger’s colored hair follicles are embedded in their skin and therefore visible to the naked eye. Here, too, we have something in common with these majestic creatures: Our skin is covered in a kind of stripes as well — called Blaschko’s lines — but ours are usually invisible except in the case of certain skin conditions.  (Interesting Facts)

 

Facts You Probably Didn’t Knew About Tigers

by Ranthambore National Park | March 2018

Tigers are often looked as being one of the most beautiful yet ferocious animals and perhaps this is a sole driving factor that makes them even more interesting creatures. But sadly, they have come to a verge of being categorized as endangered, thanks to the human sloppiness and prudence. As a wildlife lover with keen interest on large cats, I enjoy visiting wildlife sanctuaries but the question remains, how well do I or we know about this exotic animal? We’re often clouded by many misconceptions with other large cat species, but hopefully, you’ll learn something about them through this blog where I’ve listed some facts about tigers. Spoiler alert - you would be knowing some of the facts already but what the hell!

 

1. Tigers are the largest amongst other wild cats

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You probably knew this that Royal Bengal Tigers are the largest amongst other wild cats but did you also know that the male Tigers weigh up to 300 kilograms. Jezz! That’s like weighing a group of six average human. All they have to do is sit on top of you licking their paws, you’d be dead instantly.

 

2. A punch from a Tiger may kill you

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Leaving aside Tigers enormous body size, just look at their front-hands/legs, if you have a pet Tiger and a brutal enemy, you might as well send them for a fist fight. Kidding, you cannot have a pet tiger, it illegal! It is said that one swipe from a Tiger’s front hand is enough to kill a person or an animal, or at least break one’s bones.

 

3. Tigers are nocturnal animals

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It is not necessarily true that all Tigers are nocturnal but yes, they do prefer engaging in most of their hunting activities at night. The reason behind this is that Tigers prefer avoiding human conflict during daylight and also patrol around their territory at night.

 

4. Tiger cubs are born blind and only half of the cubs survive

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The saddest part is that Tiger cubs are born blind and only a few survive. Literally, the newborn cubs can't see anything, they only follow the scent of their mother. Since they are born blind and can't keep up, most of them die of hunger or cold. Some even get eaten by male Tigers to make the Tigress available for mating. That’s just insane!

 

5. Tigers love to swim and play in the water

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Unlike the domestic cats, its larger version enjoy spending time in the water and they love to swim for hours. Since cubs, female Tigers encourage or help learn the art of hunting, they even have the ability to kill in the water. And as adults, it is said that they can swim for several kilometres and even have reported one to swim for 30 km in just a day.

Click link below to read more about tigers. ⬇️

 

Source: Facts About Tigers  |  Amazing Facts About Tigers

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Fact of the Day - LUCKY ANIMALS

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Did you know... Cultures around the world have signs and symbols that are believed to be lucky. These could be plants, animals, insects, objects, numbers, gems or really anything for that matter. Some of these are believed to grant wishes, to get rid of evil, to offer protection and sometimes even heal the sick. Because good luck is that easy to come by. On a serious note, let's take a look at animals that are considered lucky in different cultures. ! (Kelli Bender | October 29, 2020)

 

The Stories Behind 7 Animals Considered Lucky in Other Countries

by Interesting Facts

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The custom of relying on animals to bring us luck is shared by many cultures. While the roots of these practices often date back centuries, the superstitions have stuck around even into the 21st century. For example, some people in Britain and North America wake up on the first day of the month and mutter “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” believing that the phrase guarantees good luck for the rest of the month — a tradition some historians believe can be traced back to the Celts. It was even customary at one time to pocket a rabbit’s foot for luck, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt carried one during the 1932 election campaign. Curious to know the stories behind other lucky creatures around the world? Here are seven animals that are traditionally thought to bring good fortune.

 

1. Germany: Pigs

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The reason pigs are considered lucky in Germany has origins on the farms of the Middle Ages. Back then, owning a large number of pigs signified wealth and prosperity. While farmers might have wanted to hang on to a cow for its milk and a horse as transport, pigs weren’t too valuable to sacrifice to the dinner table. Therefore, if they had pigs, they’d never go hungry — something that could definitely be considered good fortune. Centuries later, these farmyard animals are still a lucky symbol. The German expression “schwein gehabt” translates literally to “got pig,” though the phrase effectively means “got lucky.” If you want to wish someone in Germany good luck, it’s customary to send a marzipan pig to accompany your message, particularly to ring in the New Year.

 

2. China: Tigers

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Along with several other animals — both real and mythological (see: dragons) — tigers play an important role in traditional Chinese culture. One reason for this is that associations in China often relate to language. If the written symbol for one word appears similar to another character, you may find a parallel link embedded in cultural traditions and customs. With tigers, the Chinese character for “king” looks similar to the markings on a tiger’s forehead, so the animals are considered natural-born kings, a symbol of prowess, strength, and good fortune. In China, gifting a tiger charm is done to wish the bearer good luck. Newborn babies are given tiny shoes with tiger heads embroidered on them to secure a good start in life.

 

3. South Asia: Elephants

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In India and several other southern Asian nations, if you hope for good fortune, you’re likely to turn to an elephant. The animals often play a significant role in religion. Indians call upon the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh if they wish to summon wisdom, success, or good luck. Elephants often accompany Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of abundance, and Indra, god of thunder, rides a white elephant called Airavata. Elephants are also important to Buddhists, to whom they represent protection and good fortune. Because Buddha’s mother dreamt about a white elephant before she gave birth, white elephants are particularly auspicious. The creatures figure largely into primarily Buddhist countries such as Thailand, where they are revered as a national symbol and signify royalty.

 

4. Peru: Bulls

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When traveling in southern Peru, you’re likely to spot a pair of ceramic bulls perched on the roofs of homes. Known as Toritos de Pucará, they are named for the town in which they’re made near Lake Titicaca, and they symbolize protection, happiness, and fertility. The introduction of these ceramic figures can be traced back to the colonial era, when Spaniards introduced el toro to the Americas and they featured in the traditional festivals in the region. The two bulls represent the Andean belief in duality: Opposing pairs — whether it's the sun and the moon, mother and father, or night and day — are depicted together. If one can achieve equilibrium between positive and negative energy, that person will enjoy good fortune and prosperity.

 

5. Japan: Cats

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You may be familiar with these waving cat ornaments placed in shop windows and restaurants in Japan. Known as maneki-neko (which translates literally to “beckoning cat”), the figurines — and cats in general — have come to be associated with good luck in Japan. A few legends explain these origins. In one, a noble stood under a tree in a thunderstorm, and seeing a cat beckoning in a similar fashion as the ornaments, he walked toward it. As he did so, the cat saved his life as lightning struck the tree he had been standing under just moments before. Whether the story is true or not, many Japanese people still believe that cats are lucky. Across the country, there are many shrines and temples dedicated to felines. Tashirojima, off the coast of northern Japan, is often referred to by its nickname, Cat Island, as the island’s population is reportedly made up of 25% humans and 75% cats. The island was once a center for silkworm production, so to get rid of unwanted pests on the island, cats were introduced. Their population has grown, and the island is now a popular tourist attraction.

 

6. Sweden: Horses

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Visit Sweden, and there’s a good chance you’ll come back with at least one Dala horse in your suitcase. These brightly painted wooden horses are a national symbol, but they shot to international fame when a supersized one appeared outside the Swedish Pavilion at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. And when Swedish premier Göran Persson arrived in the United States on official business in 1996, he presented one to then-President Clinton. Dala horses aren’t just a souvenir, however. They’re a reminder that for centuries, Swedes have considered horses to be lucky. As far back as the Viking era, they were a good luck charm — burying wooden horses in the graves of warriors would send them on their way to the next world. That wish for safe passage is no coincidence if you understand that Odin, the Norse god of war, rode an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir who could gallop on water and fly. These days, the Dala horse is a nod to that long-standing tradition, and Swedes place the talisman in a window to bring good luck to their homes.

 

7. Egypt: Beetles

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The ancient Egyptians revered a number of creatures, one of which was the scarab beetle, a large dung beetle that was common in the region. Khepri, god of the morning sun and by extension the renewal of life, was depicted as a scarab beetle or a man with a scarab for a head. When the pharaohs were around, seals bore a scarab design. The beetles also featured in jewelry of the time. Decorative scarabs were painted in symbolic colors: red for the sun god, yellow for the desert, or blue for the Nile. Some amulets even made it into tombs among the treasures the pharaohs would take with them to enjoy in the afterlife. Scarab trinkets are still produced in Egypt today: Buy a souvenir from an Egyptian trader and you might find one wrapped up with your purchase to wish you good fortune.

 

 

Source: Animals That Bring Luck  |  Facts About Lucky Animals From other Countries

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - CELEBRITIES KNIGHTED

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Did you know... Being knighted is one of the highest honors that an individual can hope to receive. A variety of famous people have been knighted for their contributions to music, film, theater, and charity work. In special cases, honorary knighthoods can be bestowed upon worthy candidates from foreign countries. Who is the most famous person who has been knighted? Ronald Reagan tops our list. Reagan received an honorary knighthood in 1989 from Queen Elizabeth II. After the ceremony, Reagan stated, “I feel greatly honored. I can't say how proud I am.” Four years after Reagan received the honor, his vice president and President at the time, George H.W. Bush, also received the honorary knighthood. Other "Sirs" knighted in England include Sean Connery, Bono, and Michael Caine.  Several famous musicians have been knighted. English super star Paul McCartney was given the honor in 1997 and Elton John was knighted the following year. Actors Ben Kingsley and Patrick Stewart have also received the great honor of knighthood, as has the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. The French have also bestowed honorary knighthoods upon recipients, including two American actors of classic and modern cinema, Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro. (Celebrity Lists | March 15, 2022)

 

Celebrities Named Knights or Dames by the British Royal Family

by Frank Olito | Updated Dec 15, 2021

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Benedick Cumberbatch

 

1. Judi Dench has long been recognized by the British royal family for her work, but she officially became a dame in 1988.

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In 1970, Dench was awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), an award given to civilians whose work affected the nation. Almost two decades later, Dench was named a dame and in 2005 was given an Order of the Companion of Honour, which is given to civilians who’ve contributed to arts, science or medicine.

 

2. Long before she was Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter films, Maggie Smith became a dame in 1989

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Queen Elizabeth gave Smith the title at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. "It doesn't change anything at all, except people end up calling me Dame Maggie, and I don't suppose that'll happen much," the actress told The New York Times in 1990. In 2014, the Queen gave Smith another title: Companions of Honor, which is given to civilians who've contributed to arts, science, or medicine. 

 

3. Ian McKellen was knighted in 1991, three years after coming out as gay.

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McKellen said he wouldn't have accepted the knighthood if he hadn't come out three years earlier. "I will always be glad that I didn't accept the knighthood until I'd come out of the closet," the actor told the Daily Mail in 2018. "If you're lying about that central part of your nature, can you be trusted?"

 

4. In 1993, Anthony Hopkins was knighted, but he renounced the title seven years later.

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After starring in "The Silence of the Lambs," Hopkins received his knighthood. "I am a little bit numb at the moment," he said at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I didn't expect this and I hope I don't sound falsely modest but I am very honored, I can't quite take it in." However, in 2000, Hopkins became an American citizen and had to renounce his knighthood

 

5. Michael Caine received the honor of knighthood under his real name in 2000.

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Although Hollywood knows him as Michael Caine, he was knighted by the Queen under his real name, Maurice Micklewhite. "I was named after my father and I was knighted in his name because I love my father," Caine told the BBC in 2000. "I always kept my real name ... I'm a very private and family-orientated person ... When I go home, I leave Michael Caine, the film star, with the costumes, the wigs, and the props in the studio."

 

 

To read more on knighted celebrities, click the link below. ⬇️

 

Source: Famous People Who Have Been Knighted  |  Facts About Knighted Celebrities

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Fact of the Day - MICHAEL J. FOX

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Did you know.... Michael J. Fox’s middle name doesn't start with “J.”
Stage names are hardly uncommon in Hollywood, but false initials are rarer — if not unheard of. To wit: Michael J. Fox’s middle name doesn’t start with “J.” The Back to the Future star’s middle name is actually Andrew, but there already was a Michael A. Fox in the Screen Actors Guild when Fox wanted to join it. So why the “J”? The letter is an homage to Michael J. Pollard, a character actor Fox admires. Pollard had more than 100 acting credits to his name by the time he died in 2019, and received Academy Award, BAFTA, and two Golden Globe nominations for his role as gas station attendant-turned-accomplice C.W. Moss in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde. Some stage names are so successful that most people don’t realize they’re stage names. Sir Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, for instance, while Jamie Foxx’s real name is Eric Marlon Bishop, and Whoopi Goldberg’s is Caryn Elaine Johnson — to name just a few. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and announced his condition in 1998, retired from acting in 2020. He founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000 and remains devoted to finding a cure for the disease.

 

Middle names date back to ancient Rome.
Well, kind of. Many Romans had three names, but their second name wasn’t quite a middle name. There was the praenomen (personal name), nomen (family name), and cognomen, which indicated which branch of a family you were from. (For instance, Julius Caesar’s full name was actually Gaius Julius Caesar.) There was also a hierarchical element to the Roman naming system, as women generally only had two names and enslaved people often had only one. Middle names as we know them today arose in the Middle Ages, a time when faithful Europeans struggled between giving their children a family name or that of a saint. Eventually deciding that both would be preferable to one, they began the tradition of a child receiving a given name, baptismal name (saint’s name), and surname. That custom eventually reached America along with the people who emigrated there, with secular middle names becoming more common over time. (Interesting Facts)

 

Random Facts About Michael J. Fox Fans Didn't Know
by Sarah Kester  |  Updated September 8, 2021

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Michael J. Fox is a true hero. The Back to the Future actor has faced a lot in his life, and yet, he still manages to smile through it all. This includes the rejection he first faced in Hollywood, alcohol addiction he had to overcome and his Parkinson's diagnosis.

 

1. He's Canadian.

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Yep, he's a Canuck! The actor was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on June 9, 1961. Mike, as he's known by family and friends, was the fourth of five children. His father was a sergeant in the Canadian Army and his mother was a payroll clerk.

 

2. He quit high school to pursue acting.

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This happened two years after he landed his first role on the Canadian sitcom, Leo and Me. When he moved to Los Angeles with his dad at 18, he eventually caught his big break as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties in 1982.

 

3. He struggled to get jobs when he first moved to Hollywood.

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Like many actors when they first move to Hollywood, Michael faced his fair share of rejection. "People turned me down because I was too short and funny looking and I had a funny accent," he told Men's Health.

 

4. He met his wife, Tracy Pollan, on *Family Ties*

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Pollan played his character's girlfriend, on the show for a while. But they didn't start dating until they worked on the 1988 film Bright Lights, Big City together. They wed in 1988 and have four children together.

 

5. Being young and famous caused the actor to face some dark times.

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Just like Justin Bieber sings in "Lonely," there comes a price with having money and fame at an early age. For Michael, he found himself slipping into drinking and overspending. "By 21, I was earning six figures a week. By 23, I had a Ferrari," he told AARP.  "It was nuts. I never stopped to figure that out." It was after he met his now-wife, Tracy Pollan, that he quit his bad habits.

 

6. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991.

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This is a brain disorder that causes the actor's body to never stop moving. When he was first diagnosed with the disorder, Fox felt incredibly alone. “It’s tough to see people feel like they have to share your experience, and they can’t share your experience," he told Channel Sunrise.

 

7. He turned to alcohol after he got his Parkinson's diagnosis at 29.

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I just spun out again,” he told Men's Health. “I started to drink heavily, and it was screwing up my relationships and screwing up my marriage and screwing up my work.” When he woke up to his toddler poking his drunk body, he hit a turning point.  The drink he had the night before ended up being the last drink he ever had. “The tools that worked for quitting drinking work even better for this, which are: acceptance and surrender,” Fox said.

 

8. Quitting alcohol also meant accepting his Parkinson's diagnosis.

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"With Parkinson’s, I’d reached a détente with it. An understanding. It was like, ‘You can take up this space, just leave me this space." This has worked wonders for the star, who has become an advocate for the disorder.

 

9. He helped Selma Blair through her multiple sclerosis battle.

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Since the actor has always been so public with his journey, Selma felt comfortable reaching out to him when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This led to this adorable photo between the two.

 

10. His breakout movie role was in *Back to the Future*.

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While Family Ties got his foot in the Hollywood door, the time-traveling film cemented his status as a star. After all, the franchise has been around — and popular — since the 1980s. This means that it's considered a classic that's untouchable by fans. He even reunited with the film's cast in 2020.  Ahead of the film’s upcoming 35th anniversary, actor Josh Gad hosted the cas for his YouTube series, Reunited Apart, which aims to raise money for coronavirus relief funds. Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Michael J.Fox, and Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines-McFly), plus more, all joined in on the fun.

 

To read more facts you didn't know about Michael J. Fox, click the link below. ⬇️

 

 

Source: Facts About Michael J. Fox  |  Random Facts You Might Not Know About Michael J. Fox

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Fact of the Day - PRINCESS DIANA

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Did you know... On August 31, 1997, the entire world mourned the passing of Princess Diana. Though she never found her happily-ever-after with Prince Charles (the couple divorced in 1996, just a year before her death), Diana remains an icon of strength and independence to women around the world. Here are 10 things you might not have known about the People's Princess. (Stacy Conradt | August 31, 2018 | Updated: August 31, 2020)

 

Lesser-Known Facts About Princess Diana

by Interesting Facts

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Diana, Princess of Wales, was — and arguably, still is — one of the most famous women in the world. From the time she began dating Prince Charles in 1980 to her tragic death in 1997 at age 36, she was constantly photographed by paparazzi, surrounded by crowds, and the subject of daily headlines, whether truthful or not. Detractors and fans alike scrutinized almost every facet of her life. "It took a long time to understand why people were so interested in me," Diana once said. While it feels like every detail about Diana’s short but famous life is well-known — thanks to a constant stream of books, articles, TV, and film projects — some stories haven’t grabbed as much attention. Here are eight lesser-known facts about the People’s Princess.

 

1. Baby Diana Waited a Week for Her Name

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When Diana was born on July 1, 1961, her parents had been hoping for a son. They already had two girls and had lost a baby boy who died shortly after his birth in January 1960. Her father, due to inherit an earldom, desperately wanted a male heir. Diana's parents were so focused on having a boy that they hadn't come up with names in case their newborn turned out to be a girl. A week passed before Diana was named Diana Frances Spencer. Frances honored her mother, while Diana was a nod to the Spencer family tree.

 

2. Diana Had Her Own Royal Heritage

Before Diana married into the British royal family, she had her own royal connections via her ancestors; illegitimate offspring of Kings Charles II and James II had joined the aristocratic Spencer line. Thanks to her lineage, Diana actually had more English royal blood than Prince Charles, as the Windsors have strong Germanic ties. Charles' great-grandfather, King George V, changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor in 1917, due to tensions with Germany during World War I.

 

3. Diana Left School at 16

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When Diana was a 15-year-old student in June 1977, she took her O level (ordinary level) exams. These standardized tests are supposed to demonstrate mastery of different subjects; in Diana's case, English literature, English language, history, art, and geography. Unfortunately, she failed all these exams, perhaps due to anxiety or lack of studying. She then failed a second attempt at her O levels later that year. After her O level failures, Diana had to leave school when she was 16. Even after becoming a princess, she remembered this setback with a degree of shame. A 1985 documentary recorded her telling a boy at a children's home, "I never got any O levels: brain the size of a pea, I've got."

 

4. Diana Didn’t Say “Obey” in Her Marriage Vows

Diana was only 20 when she wed Prince Charles, who was 12 years her senior. Despite being so young, she was willing to buck royal tradition when it came to her 1981 wedding vows. Other royal brides, even Queen Elizabeth II, had stuck to traditional Church of England wording from 1662 and promised to "obey" their husbands (men were not required to say they would obey their wives). Diana instead opted for the church's updated marriage service. At the altar, she told Charles she would "love him, comfort him, honor, and keep him, in sickness and in health." Though Diana never met future daughter-in-laws Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, they followed in her footsteps by omitting "obey" in their wedding ceremonies.

 

5. Diana Loved To Dance

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Dance was a longtime passion of Diana's. After years of ballet, tap, and ballroom lessons, she won a school dance competition in 1976. And she didn't abandon dancing when she became a princess. She even asked ballet dancer Wayne Sleep for lessons in the early 1980s; his schedule couldn't accommodate her, but he found a colleague to teach her.

After seeing a performance of the musical Cats, Diana and Charles visited Andrew Lloyd Webber backstage. According to Webber's memoir, Charles remarked on the dancing and Diana demonstrated some splits herself. At the White House in November 1985, First Lady Nancy Reagan prompted John Travolta to ask Diana to dance; they impressed onlookers as they shared the floor in one of the famous photo ops of Diana’s life. In December 1985, Diana stunned Charles at the Royal Opera House — though not in a good way — with an onstage choreographed number with Sleep, set to Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" (an incident depicted on The Crown). Sleep later said, "She loved the freedom dancing gave her."

 

6. Diana Went Clubbing With Freddie Mercury

According to actress Cleo Rocos, in the late 1980s she, Diana, comedian Kenny Everett, and rock star Freddie Mercury once got together to watch reruns of The Golden Girls, the sound muted so they could spice up the dialogue themselves. Diana then wanted to join the group on their outing to a gay bar that night. Some were hesitant, but Mercury said, "Go on, let the girl have some fun." Hidden by sunglasses and a cap, Diana was able to sneak into the bar. She remained unrecognized and, per Rocos, "She loved it."

That wasn’t the only time Diana went under disguise for a night out on the town. Shortly before her sister-in-law Sarah Ferguson (aka Fergie) wed Prince Andrew on July 23, 1986, Diana, Fergie, and others donned police outfits and staged a fake arrest in front of Buckingham Palace for a bachelorette party prank. They were picked up by a police van, but released once the officers realized who their passengers were. After this, Diana and the gang, still in disguise, headed to a nightclub. They only left when they were recognized.

 

7. Diana Considered Starring in a Sequel to “The Bodyguard”

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After the success of 1992’s The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner wanted to replicate the successful formula in a sequel that would feature his bodyguard character watching over a post-divorce Diana instead of a popular singer. And, of course, the pair would fall in love. With help from Fergie, Costner was able to speak to Diana about the project. She was interested enough to discuss her lack of acting experience, and also asked if there would be "a “kissing scene." However, Diana passed away before anything came to fruition.

 

8. Diana Walked Through a Cleared Minefield ... Twice

Following her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana decided to bring attention to the dangers and devastation of landmines. In January 1997, she traveled to Angola to meet with victims of these mines. She famously walked through a cleared — but still dangerous, should any explosives have been missed or improperly deactivated — path in an active minefield. But what some may not know is that when some photographers said they needed a second take, Diana didn't object — she walked through the field once more because she realized how important those images would be. Pictures of Diana made it to the front pages of papers around the world. Mike Whitlam of the British Red Cross said, "It was Diana's involvement in the anti-personnel landmines that made this appalling weapon of war a global issue and persuaded many countries to sign the Ottawa Convention. Her involvement made a real difference, not just to those people running the charities, but to those people who were helped by them." In 1997, after Diana's death, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to campaigners to ban landmines.

 

 

Source: Fascinating Facts About Princess Diana | What Might Not Be Known About Princess Diana

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Fact of the Day - COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD

by Reflections & Advice | July 7, 2021

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Did you know... If you’re looking for interesting trivia about countries, or simply looking to appreciate some interesting facts about different countries, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find 15 fun facts about countries that blew me away, and might just do the same for you. 

 

At times, my endless curiosity perpetuates itself in peculiar ways. For example, one fine afternoon I spent my time (and some would argue “wasted my time”) searching the internet for intriguing and obscure facts that I hadn't yet encountered about countries around the world. You know, travel trivia question of the day type stuff, or trying to amuse myself with weird facts about countries on the planet of ours. It occurred to me that I really ought to turn this into an article, if only to pass along some of the country facts that I came across that wowed me. You may even be able to use some of these facts if you’re putting together fun trivia about countries, but perhaps you’re just looking to be amused, and that’s perfectly fine as well, of course. If you’re keen on this sort of article, you might also like my article on ancient travel quotes worth remembering, or the 50 most inspiring travel quotes. Without further adieu, here are 15 interesting facts about countries around the world that I thought were too interesting not to be shared.

 

1) NAURU IS, TECHNICALLY, HOME TO THE MOST OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

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This small island nation in Oceania, officially known as the Republic of Nauru, statistically has the most overweight populous on the planet. Obesity afflicts for 97% of men and 93% of women in Nauru. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that prior to being called the Republic of Nauru, it was called "Pleasant Island.” Not many people even know this country exists. It’s a tiny island in Micronesia, a subregion of Oceania. Nauru’s closest neighbor (300km away) is Banaba Island, which is part of another little-known island nation called the Republic of Kiribati.

 

2) AUSTRALIA IS THE ONLY CONTINENT IN THE WORLD TO HAVE NO ACTIVE VOLCANOES.
There are remnants of volcanoes in Australia, but the last time one erupted was thousands of years ago. So, you can worry about being kicked in the face by a kangaroo, being attacked by spiders the size of small dogs, or coming face to face with the world’s most poisonous snakes, but you do not need to worry about dramatic volcano eruptions disrupting your vacation in the Outback. Hey, that seems like a fair trade, right?

 

3) ONE OF THE OFFICIAL ANTHEMS OF THE MICRO-NATION OF LADONIA IS THE SOUND OF A STONE THROWN INTO WATER.
There are so many interesting facts about Ladonia that the brains of geography trivia nerds will probably explode!  For starters, Ladonia is a 1 square kilometre plot of land inside a nature reserve in southern Sweden. It was founded in 1996 after a legal dispute over two large driftwood sculptures. Not a single citizen of Ladonia (apparently there were over twenty two thousand as of 2019) lives there, including the reigning Queen who is a US-born citizen still living in the United States.  This country has a bizarre history that you could fill an entire round of travel trivia with. 

 

4) ALL OF CHINA IS ON BEIJING TIME DESPITE GEOGRAPHICALLY SPANNING OVER 5 TIME ZONES. 
This is another doozy for geography trivia lovers.  The single time zone across China, also called China Standard Time, spans 4800 kilometers. That’s about the same width as the continental United States.  This causes all sorts of issues for the people living in China. For instance, if the sun rises at 6am on the far east side of the country, it does not rise until 10am for those in the west. Same goes for sunset, too. 

 

5) AT 1896 KM, CANADA'S YONGE STREET IS THE LONGEST STREET IN THE WORLD. 

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I was born and raised in Toronto, have written a lot about Ontario for this site, and run a sister site called Ultimate Ontario, so it would be troublesome if I didn’t know or include this one. Yonge Street starts in downtown Toronto and ends in Rainy River - a small town on the US border to Minnesota. Yonge Street held the Guinness-approved record of longest street in the world up until 1999 when the title was suddenly dropped. Some believe that Yonge Street ends much closer to the start in Keswick, a community on Cook’s Bay north of Toronto. Whatever you believe, Yonge Street is often the place to go for Toronto activities, and until anyone is officially told otherwise, this is the street that is getting the monicker for the longest street on the planet. On a side note, my Ebook,  A Local Travel Writer’s Guide to Toronto is still for sale on my site. It’s currently retailing for $3.99, but you can get it for 50% off if you use the coupon code “INTERESTINGFACTS.”

 

6) NEW ZEALAND WAS THE FIRST SELF-GOVERNING NATION TO GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN 1893 - A MOVE THAT WAS FOLLOWED TWO YEARS LATER BY ITS NEIGHBOUR AUSTRALIA.
Is it just me, or does New Zealand seem to have more common sense than a lot of other nations? They came around to the obvious a lot quicker than the rest of us it would seem. It took two decades to win the fight, but the  New Zealand suffragettes finally won. Since then, women have held positions in all key constitutional positions including prime minister, speaker of the House of Representatives, attorney general, and others (and as they should).. Just look at the way Jacinda Ardern has led the nation since 2017, especially through the pandemic, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a lot citizens anywhere on the planet who wouldn’t want someone like her at the helm. That, my friends, was a masterclass in leadership. 

 

7) WITH ENORMOUS EXPANSES OF FOREST, RUSSIA PRODUCES THE MOST OXYGEN FOR THE PLANET. 

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I bet you thought it was the Amazon, right? It’s actually the boreal forest, a coniferous forest (pine and spruce), not a tropical forest that produces the most oxygen on Earth. Also called the “Taiga Biome,” it covers huge swaths of land in Eurasia and North America between the 50th and 70th northern parallels, Russia being the largest. That was a country fact that totally surprised me, but I suppose it makes perfect sense when you consider the sheer size of the nation of Russia. 

 

😎 THERE ARE 23 NATIVE LANGUAGES RECOGNIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN GUATEMALA.
The official language of Guatemala is Spanish, but the 22 native languages of Maya, Xinca, and Garifuna citizens are officially recognized as well. I mean, I think that’s how it probably should be. As a Canadian, I’ve always been a bit disappointed that our two official languages are English and French, when we have an Indigenous history that precedes the arrival of the English and the French. Surely we could have a few more official languages, no? Anyway, back to Guatemala.  The majority of the languages are Mayan, while the two exceptions, Garifuna and Xincan, have Caribbean and unknown origins, respectively. For reference, less than 1% of the total population of Guatemala speaks these two languages,  so I suppose even more credit goes to Guatemala for including them. 

 

9) SOUTH SUDAN IS THE MOST RECENT COUNTRY TO DECLARE INDEPENDENCE, WHICH HAPPENED ON JULY 9, 2011. 
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan after a decades-long violent civil war, and quickly gained international recognition and membership to the United Nations. Aside from South Sudan, Montenegro, Serbia, and East Timor have also gained undisputed independence in the 21st century. The Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which is still hotly contested by Serbia and only recognized by 103 (of 193) United Nations Member States. 

 

10) SWITZERLAND CONSUMES THE MOST CHOCOLATE PER YEAR WITH APPROXIMATELY 10 KILOS A YEAR PER PERSON.

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Can anybody blame them? I certainly can’t. Every beautiful city in Switzerland appears to have an even more beautiful chocolate scene. Honestly though, why wouldn’t you partake in a delicious industry that your country helped pioneer? Since chocolate making began in Switzerland in 1819, they have continually worked to discover innovative new techniques. One Swiss chocolatier, Rodolphe Lindt, even patented his melt-in-your-mouth technique called “conching,” which is still used to make Lindt’s famous Lindor Truffles.  I know that you know exactly what I’m talking about.

 

11) CANADA HAS THE MOST LAKES ON THE PLANET. LUCKILY, I'VE BEEN ABLE TO SWIM IN A FEW OF THEM. 
I touched upon this in my article for Ultimate Ontario on the top fun facts about Ontario, but yes, we’ve got a hell of a lot of lakes in this nation. Over 60% of all lakes in the world to be exact, including Lake Ontario, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Erie. Those are some pretty great lakes (get it?), but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Altogether, there are upwards of 2 million lakes in Canada with a total land area of 10 million square kilometers. To put things in perspective, and here’s some fun travel trivia if I’ve ever heard it, there are more than 550 lakes in Canada larger than 100 square kilometres. That’s astonishing, right?

 

12) IF YOU COUNT OVERSEAS TERRITORIES, THEN IT IS ACTUALLY FRANCE THAT COVERS THE MOST TIME ZONES WITH A WHOPPING 12. 
French Polynesia, a territory of France located in the South Pacific Ocean, is  actually 11 hours (or time zones) behind Paris. As you can imagine, it’s not France itself that all the timezones, but rather its various territories around the world. Most people automatically assume it would be China or Russia, and that makes this fun fact a good one to break out at a dinner party. 

 

13) THE FIRST TIME IRELAND EVER WON AN OLYMPIC MEDAL WAS IN THE CATEGORY OF PAINTING. 

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Yes, painting. The category doesn't exist anymore, of course, but while it did Jack B. Yeats received a silver medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics for his painting titled "The Liffey Swim.” The painting is displayed at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin along side other works he’s created and several paintings done by his father, John Butler Yeats

 

14) BOTH CHINA AND RUSSIA ARE BORDERED BY 14 COUNTRIES.
China and Russia are such large countries that you almost forget that quite a few countries line their borders. Aside from each other, they share three other countries at their borders - Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and North Korea. Of all 24 countries involved, the shortest border length is the 17km border between North Korea and Russia, and the longest is the 7512km border between Russia and Kazakhstan. 

 

15) RWANDA HAS THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT
As of writing this, women occupy 61% of the seats in the Rwandan Parliament. Historically, only 20 seats were reserved for women in Parliament. Today, 49 of the 80 seats are filled by women because females dominate the total population. After the Rwandan Genocide in the early 1990’s, when upwards of 1 million Rwandans were killed, more than half the country's total population was female. A silver lining to an awful tragedy. Rwanda is a nation I’ve always wanted to visit, and I hope I’ll get that chance sooner rather than later. I’m told the nature, and particularly experiences like gorilla trekking, are absolutely astonishing. 

 

Note: This is not me speaking here.

 

Source: Fun Facts About Countries Around the Globe

 

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Fact of the Day - GRAVITY

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Did you know... Gravity in Canada’s Hudson Bay area is weaker than in other parts of the world.

Earth is far from the perfect “blue marble” we like to picture. In reality, our planet is filled with deep trenches, towering mountains, and centrifugal bulges that make its mass uneven across the globe — and that unequal distribution can really mess with gravity. One famous example is the Hudson Bay region in northeastern Canada, where gravity reaches some of its weakest levels in the entire world. These levels aren’t extraordinarily low — residents weigh only one-tenth of an ounce less than they would elsewhere — but it’s enough for scientists to take notice and wonder why this particular area experiences gravity differently. 

 

The force of gravity is calculated using mass and distance. To put it simply, the mass of the Earth, combined with our proximity to its surface, is why we feel gravity the way we do. This is also why astronauts experience lower gravity as they move farther away from the Earth’s surface. Because we experience the Hudson Bay anomaly while still on Earth, that must mean the area somehow has less mass. It turns out there’s not only one, but two reasons for this. The first is a process in the Earth’s mantle (found 60 to 124 miles beneath the planet’s surface) called convection, in which super-hot magma moves continuously in a circular motion, sinking and rising back up again — and pulling tectonic plates with it. One of these sinking currents occurs in the Hudson Bay region, and could account for an estimated 55% to 75% of its “missing” gravity. 

 

The second reason takes us back 20,000 years to the last ice age, when much of North America was covered by a nearly 2-mile-thick glacier called the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Its massive bulk, especially around Hudson Bay where the glacier formed huge domes, compressed rock into the Earth’s mantle and created a giant indent with less mass. Scientists have confirmed that gravity is slowly increasing in the area as the Earth rebounds (at about half-an-inch per year) from this glacial trauma, but residents of the Hudson Bay region will still experience some gravity-induced weight loss for the next 5,000 years or so.

 

Gravity travels at the speed of light.
Traveling 186,000 miles a second, light takes only about eight minutes to traverse the 93 million miles between the sun and the Earth. It’s the fastest thing known to science — well, one of the fastest. Gravity also travels through space at the speed of light, as hypothesized by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. However, gravity is much harder to measure than light, in part because it’s a much weaker force, and because scientists can’t just turn it on and off while scribbling notes. In 2003, nearly 90 years after Einstein first shared his grand theory, scientists from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) used a once-in-a-decade celestial alignment to measure the speed of gravity. As the massive bulk of Jupiter passed in front of a specific quasar (very bright young galaxies located very far away), scientists measured how the quasar’s radio waves bent around the gas giant. Because the amount of bending depended on how quickly gravity propagated around Jupiter, NRAO scientists could finally determine its speed. The fact that light and gravity move at the same speed means that if the sun were to instantly vanish, Earth would still enjoy about eight minutes of sunshine while orbiting around, well, nothing — before being slingshot into the cold vastness of space. (Interesting Facts)

 

Mind Blowing Facts About Gravity
Gravity is one of the fundamental forces of nature, but some believe it can actually be an illusion.
by Christopher McFadden | March 31, 2019 

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Gravity is one of the most studied phenomena in science. It is also a fundamental force of the universe, but what is it?

 

SEE ALSO: SCIENTISTS LEVITATE PARTICLES WITH SOUND TO DEFY GRAVITY

 

We experience it every single day of our lives, and in fact, without gravity, your body would soon undergo some interesting changes. Yet gravity might not be as simple as you might first think.

 

What is gravity theory?
According to NASA, gravity is: -"the force by which a planet or other body draws objects toward its center. The force of gravity keeps all of the planets in orbit around the sun." Put simply, anything that has a mass of any kind will exert or be under the influence of gravity. Objects with larger mass have more gravity and the force gets weaker the further you are from a center of mass. It is because of gravity that things fall to the ground and is the very reason we have weight. If you were to travel to a planet with less mass than Earth you would actually weigh less, and vice versa for planets with larger mass.

 

 

 

Is gravity real? 
Whilst the above definition is simple and intuitive, gravity might not be so simple. It has been one of the most studied phenomena in physics and the more we learn about it, the less it seems to make sense. In fact, it is one of the least understood of all the fundamental forces of nature. Whilst on the grander scale (like the solar system), gravity seems to work just fine, at the quantum level it appears to break down. It seems that gravity might actually be an illusion...

 

 

 

1. Gravity isn't actually a force

 

 

Whilst this might seem a little counterintuitive, gravity might not actually be a force at all. According to Albert Einstein, gravity is actually more of a consequence of something else rather than a force in its own right. Einstein's theories proposed that space-time is actually bent by massive objects, like planets and suns. This phenomenon distorts the path of objects through space-time creating the effect that we see and feel as gravity.

 

2. Your favorite fridge magnet is stronger than Earth's gravity

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It's amazing to think that that tiny magnet is able to defy the gravity of an entire planet.  Gravity is the weakest of the so-called fundamental forces in physics. It also pales in comparison to the electromagnetic force that holds the magnet onto the fridge. This makes complete sense when you think about it. Other forces, like the strong nuclear force in the nuclei of the atoms of the magnet, are also vastly superior in strength to Earth's gravity. It is also unable to defeat the weak nuclear force of atoms that are responsible for radioactive decay.

 

3. Some massive objects can actually make gravitational waves

 

As previously mentioned, Einstein's theories describe how massive objects distort space-time. As these objects move that should, according to Einstein, create ripples in the very fabric of space. You can liken this to a water boatman skating across the surface of a pond. Whilst this was purely theoretical for many decades, we have actually been able to detect these waves in recent years. Notably back in 2007, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to 3 scientists for just that. They were able to observe a collision between two black holes about 1.8 Billion light years away. These black holes are massive indeed with one being 31 times the mass of our sun and the other 25 times. The collision converted the mass of about 3 suns into gravitational-wave energy in the fraction of a second!

 

4. Gravity on Earth actually varies

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The Earth is not a perfect sphere. It also has lots of lumps and bumps in the form of mountains, and deep gorges. The composition of the Earth is also not uniform around the world. Different rock types, concentrations of minerals, and geography all collude to create pockets of varying average density in all over the place.  This directly affects gravity at different places on the Earth's surface. This can be measured with relative ease, and organizations like NASA have actually mapped this effect from space. Using a pair of satellites that work in tandem, they were able to measure the relative pull of the Earth's gravity as they travel around the planet. Called the GRACE satellites, NASA was able to produce an interesting "bumpy" model of Earth's gravity.

 

5. Quantum mechanics and gravity are at odds

 

 

Quantum mechanics helps us explain how atoms, molecules, and other fundamental particles interact. Einstein's theory of general relativity, on the other hand, helps explain how things work on the mega-scale. But the problem is these two realms of physics don't seem to fit together. Whilst a lot of work has been carried out to fix this issue, it is still one of the biggest challenges of modern physics. It is likely that this is because, as we have previously mentioned, gravity isn't actually a force per se.

 

 

Source: Facts About Gravity  |  Gravity Facts

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Fact of the Day - BOARD GAMES

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Did you know... Chances are good that you've blown the dust off your stash of trusty board games. Chances are also good that your stash includes Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, and other classics that have endured for decades, becoming cultural touchstones for generations. But how much do you really know about your favorite board games? Here are plenty of tidbits you can use to impress (and distract) your opponents during the next round of fun. (Saundra Latham  |  March 30, 2020)

 

A Brief History of Board Games

by Interesting Facts

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Despite spending most of their days trying to survive and thrive, early people across the globe needed something actually fun to do with their spare time … much like people today. Made from stone, bones, and other handy materials, early games weren’t too far off the ones we play today. And while humans eventually transitioned from stick-based games to those with dice, and later boards, the earliest games show that humans haven’t changed all that much in a quest for good-intentioned victory over family and friends.

 

1. History’s Oldest Board Game

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Senet, a creation of ancient Egyptians, takes its place in gaming history as one of the earliest known board games. Dating to at least 3100 BCE and featured prominently in Egyptian texts and hieroglyphs, Senet was played by all levels of Egyptian society with an ever-evolving set of house rules determined by players. The game board sat atop a rectangular box with etched spaces on top, where players moved pieces through a series of actions that resembled Egyptians’ beliefs in life after death. (Nicer game boards even included a storage drawer to stow pieces after the otherworldly game was finished.) And while surviving versions of Senet — many with intricate designs and colors, leading archaeologists to believe they were owned by wealthier players — show a variety of gameplay scenarios, historians have no idea what the exact rules were or how the game was played.

 

2. Other Ancient Board Games

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Board games weren’t popular with just Egyptians; other ancient cultures created their own games to pass the time. The Royal Game of Ur had Sumerian players in the Mesopotamian city of Ur roll a four-sided die with the hopes of moving all their game pieces to the end of the board first. Recovered game boards date the Royal Game of Ur to around 2600 BCE, and while some instructions for the two-player game exist, they’re incomplete, making it difficult for historians to understand all the rules and strategies. Backgammon, still played today, is believed to be around 5,000 years old. Also known by its old-world name, “tables,” it’s been documented as a favored game of Roman Emperor Nero, and mentioned in works by Chaucer and Shakespeare. And beginning around 4,000 years ago, winners of the game Go (also called Wei-chi) triumphed by surrounding their competitor’s game pieces and removing them from the board. Go is still played today, and has become modernized with online matches.

 

3. Modern Classics

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When you think about classic board games, you probably aren’t naming those early civilization amusements. Modern gamers of all skill levels are likely to name off Monopoly, Scrabble, and Sorry! as popular classics played by generations of families. But how did these 20th-century games become so popular? You can thank the Great Depression. Games such as The Landlord’s Game (Monopoly’s earliest rendition, created by Elizabeth Magie) existed nearly 30 years before the Great Depression, but the 1930s’ combination of time, indoor lighting, and limited funds generated new interest in board gaming. During a time when many were out of work, families looked for inexpensive ways to pass the time together. Tabletop games began to flourish in the U.S. during the 1930s, with manufacturers such as Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley creating a slew of games. Sorry!, created and trademarked months before the stock market crash of 1929, thrived during the Depression (though the game isn’t an original idea — it’s based on Parcheesi, which was first introduced in 1867). And Monopoly, a retooled version of Magie’s patented game, was popularized by Charles Darrow, a businessman who sold his version to Parker Brothers during the 1930s. Scrabble creator Alfred Mosher Butts turned to board game inventing after losing his job as an architect, though his hard work — originally called Criss Cross Words — didn’t gain popularity until the 1950s, when it was sold to Hasbro.

 

4. Booming Board Game Business

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If you thought that video games would mean the end of board games, think again. A resurgence in unplugged gaming has led more people to seek out a growing number of new board games. The number of published games has been on the rise since 2000, with more than 3,400 games published in 2015. And while countless board games have sought their way to the top of best-selling games lists, the top seller most years is often a return to basics — chess, checkers, or backgammon. It’s proof that older games, while often less flashy and perhaps a little dated, have a way of outlasting the competition.

 

 

Source: Fun Facts About Your Favorite Board Games  |  Facts about Board Games

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Fact of the Day - WORLD'S POPULATION

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Did you know.... In 1987, the world population hit an all-time high of 5 billion. Two years later, on 11 July, the United Nations General Assembly established World Population Day to highlight the "urgency and importance of population issues". The world has come a long way since then. According to Worldometers, we hit a population of 7.8 billion people as of July 2020. (BY CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER | 11 July 2020)

 

Surprising Facts About the World’s Population

by Interesting Facts

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As of 2022, there are 7.9 billion people living on Earth — an especially astounding fact when you consider that a little over two centuries ago, the planet crossed the 1 billion mark for the first time. Studying global population trends isn’t just a fascinating endeavor — understanding the growth (or decline) in the Earth’s populations helps researchers to better predict conditions in the future. From the most-populated continent to a municipality with just one person, here are 13 fascinating world population facts that may surprise you.

 

1. The Majority of Earth’s Human Population Lives in One Hemisphere

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Although the Earth’s hemispheres are equal in geographic size, the Earth’s population is not divided similarly. Roughly 90% of Earth’s human population lives in the Northern Hemisphere, which also accounts for most of the planet's landmass. The Northern Hemisphere is made up of 39.3% land (the rest is ocean) and also contains many of the world’s most-populated cities, while the Southern Hemisphere only is 19.1% land.

 

2. Over Half of the World’s Population Lives on a Single Continent
Earth’s continents are similarly unequal in population distribution — it’s estimated that 60% of Earth’s population (4.7 billion people) lives in Asia. Made up of 48 countries, Asia is also home to the two most populous nations in the world, China and India. China is estimated to currently have 1.44 billion people living in the country, while India is not far behind with an estimated 1.40 billion residents. Together, the two countries account for over half of Asia’s total population.

 

3. Japan Is Home to the World’s Most-Populated City

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China and India may be the nations with the highest population, but Japan is home to the most populated city. In 2022, the population of the Tokyo metropolitan area is estimated to be an astounding 37.7 million people, with 13.96 million living in the city itself. To compare, greater Tokyo’s population is almost equivalent to the total sum of the 25 most populated cities in the U.S., which adds up to 37.8 million people. It’s also 1.5 times larger than the next most populous metro area, Seoul.

 

4. Monaco Has the World’s Densest Population
Monaco may be the second-smallest country by geographical size, but it does have the world’s densest population. With a population of 39,000 people spread across just three-quarters of a square mile, Monaco has a population density of about 50,000 people per square mile. If you were to consider both independent countries and territories, the Chinese territory of Macau is even more dense, with over 51,000 people per square mile.

 

5. Katy, Texas, Has the Most-Populated ZIP Code in the U.S.

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California might be the most-populated state in the U.S., but Texas is home to the most populated ZIP code. The Texan ZIP code of 77449 has a population of 128,294 people and belongs to Katy, Texas, a suburb located 30 miles west of Houston. Interestingly, the second most-populated ZIP code in the states also belongs to Katy, with 118,291 residents in the 77494 ZIP code. Five of the top 10 ZIP codes by population are located in the Lone Star State.

 

6. Over Half of Indonesia’s Population Lives on a Single Island
Although the archipelago of Indonesia has a total of 17,508 islands, more than half of the nation's total population resides on the island of Java. Home to the capital city of Jakarta, Java is the most-populated island in the world, with 145 million residents. To put that into context, that’s 17 times more people than all of New York’s five boroughs, which are home to a total of 8.4 million people.

 

7. There’s a Town in Nebraska With a Population of 1

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In the lonesome grasslands of Nebraska near the South Dakota border lies the municipality of Monowi. The town’s sole resident is Elsie Eiler, a woman in her 80s who is the town’s mayor, clerk, librarian, and treasurer. As Monowi is an incorporated town for the purposes of the U.S. Census, Eiler receives state funding for municipal road work. However, she has to raise her own funds for the town’s taxes to pay for the street lighting and water.

 

8. Nepal’s Population Has the Highest Percentage of Women
Women account for 54.5% of the total population in Nepal, with roughly 2 million more women than men in the South Asian country. One of the primary causes of this high population rate is the country’s life expectancy, with Nepalese women typically outliving Nepalese men. Another reason is the fact that Nepalese men often move abroad for work, while the women usually stay at home.

 

9. Wyoming Is the Least-Populated State in the U.S.

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In the last U.S. Census, Wyoming remained the least populated state in the U.S., with a population of approximately 580,000 residents. The state’s most populous city is Cheyenne, home to about 65,000 people, while the town of Owl Creek has the lowest population with a mere four residents. Housing 5.9 people per square mile, Wyoming is far from congested, especially when compared to California, which has 240.5 people per square mile.

 

10. Niger Has the Highest Birth Rate and the Youngest Population
The West African country of Niger has the highest birth rate in the world: Between 2015 and 2020, the average woman in Niger gave birth seven times. Unsurprisingly, this means that Niger has a very young population, with a median age of 15. In fact, with an estimated population of 22.93 million, roughly half of the people who live in Niger are under the age of 14.

 

11. In 2050, Earth Will Have 10 Billion Human Inhabitants

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In less than 30 years, the world’s population is projected to grow by 2.2 billion people, from 7.8 billion in 2020 to a whopping 10 billion in 2050. This estimation is based on the current global fertility rate, which averages 2.3 births per woman, as well as other population indicators that are tracked in 200 countries around the world. By 2050, many countries in Africa will have doubled their populations, with some countries (such as Angola) expected to increase by a whopping 150%.

 

12. The World Is Growing at a Slower Pace Than It Used To
The world population currently grows by an estimated 1.05% to 1.1% per year. However, this is a significant decrease from just 60 years ago, when the world’s annual growth was 2.2% per year. Despite this decline, the world’s population has steadily increased over the past 200 years. Since 1800, the world’s population has increased from 1 billion to 7.9 billion, largely thanks to advances in the medical and agricultural industries.

 

13. By 2050, Half of the World’s Population Growth Will Be Concentrated in Nine Countries

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While many countries are shrinking in population, others are growing at much faster rates, leading to unequal distribution of global population growth. In fact, just nine countries are predicted to make up more than 50% of population growth by 2050. According to the United Nations, these countries are India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt, and the United States. The same report by the U.N. also revealed that the world’s population continues to grow older, as life expectancy increases across the globe.
 

 

Source: Facts About the World's Population |  World Population Facts

Edited by DarkRavie
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Fact of the Day - Who hears Better Than You?

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Did you know... The animals with the best range of hearing.
In the natural world, survival depends on two requirements: getting enough food and avoiding predators. Many animals have honed their abilities in unique ways so they can survive and thrive. Have you ever wondered how humans’ ability to hear compares to other species? Let’s take a look at five animals with great hearing in comparison to humans. (Miracle-Ear | Last update on April 21, 2021)

 

Animals With an Amazing Sense of Hearing

by Animals Fun Facts  |  ------

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Animals often have an incredibly good hearing, but not all of them use their ears to hear. There are even animals that don’t have ears but can still hear.

 

1. African Elephant

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The African elephant has the biggest ears. But why? Maybe so their trunks don’t look as big? Just kidding! But they must use them to hear, right? Not quite. Their ears are like giant fans. When the sun burns its skulls and the air starts to shimmer in the heat, the elephant pumps blood into its ears. It then flaps them around and the cooled blood flows back into its body. It’s like holding your wrist under cold water. African forest elephants and Asian elephants have considerably smaller ears, as they live under tropical forest canopies.

 

2. Fennec Fox

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The fennec fox is a desert fox. It might only be 15.7 inch (40 cm) tall, but its ears are 15 cm long! They can hear almost anything, even a beetle crawling over the sand. The fennec also uses its ears like the elephant does - to cool down.

 

3. Bat

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The Brown long-eared bat has the biggest ears in comparison to its body size. The bat bat hears tones that people can’t hear at all. The animal only grows to 1.9 inch (5 cm) in length but has 1.5 inch (4 cm) long ears. This would be like a human having 55.1 inch (140 cm) long ears. Maybe Little Red Riding Hood saw a bat when she said “What big ears you have!”.

 

4. Owl

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Owls have unusual hearing equipment. You can hardly see them, but the barn owl has one ear that’s higher than the other. On purpose! Active at night, these silent flying owls can pretty much hear in 3D. One ear hears upwards, the other downwards.

 

5. Lynx

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The lynx’s wonderful hairs have a special purpose. They are like antenna, directing sound into the ears. This works so well that it can hear sounds from a whole kilometer away.

 

6. Goldfish

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Hearing isn’t always a blessing. The goldfish could sing a song about it. Or blub a song? When it gets too loud, they quickly get stressed and simply close their ears.

 

7. Worms, Snails, Snakes

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If an animal doesn’t have ears that point up, you might think that it can’t hear. But that’s not quite true. They might not have outer ears like people do, but they have different organs that they use to hear sounds. In the form of waves (like when your phone buzzes in your pocket). But all animals that can hear have one thing in common: they can go deaf. Due to bacteria, illness or injury. Even a gust of air can be dangerous. If you blow into a dog’s ear, you can damage its sensitive hearing.

 

 

Source: Animals with the Best Hearing | Facts About Animal Hearing

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Fact of the Day - BLOCKBUSTER

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Did you know... There is only one remaining Blockbuster location — in Bend, Oregon.
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster, the wildly successful movie rental chain, boasted 9,094 locations. Today it has just one. Bend, Oregon, is home to the former giant’s last remaining outpost, a status the store attained when its counterpart in a suburb of Perth, Australia, closed in 2019. Originally opened in 1992 as Pacific Video, the location became a Blockbuster franchise store eight years later — and doesn’t look to be closing any time soon. That’s thanks in part to the 2020 documentary The Last Blockbuster, which contributed to the brick-and-mortar store being cemented as a tourist attraction among nostalgia-minded visitors. Besides the throwback vibe, another major attraction is the store’s expansive library. The Bend Blockbuster has a collection of around 25,000 movies, more than six times as many as Netflix, the monolith most responsible for its parent company’s slow decline. And while no one doubts the convenience of streaming, cinephiles continue to champion independent shops such as Scarecrow Video in Seattle (120,000 titles available) and Cinefile Video in Los Angeles (30,000) that carry rare and/or out-of-print selections unlikely to be found on Netflix, Hulu, or most other streaming services.

 

Blockbuster turned down the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million.
Back when the company was in its infancy, Netflix’s founders offered to sell their DVD-by-mail business to Blockbuster for the princely sum of $50 million. Blockbuster declined, and at the time their reasoning was sound — it was early 2000, their own company was valued at $6 billion, and Netflix was on track to lose $57 million that year alone. Within a decade, their fortunes had completely reversed: Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010, by which time Netflix had shifted away from its mail-order roots to focus on streaming video. In 2020, the company made close to $25 billion in revenue. (Interesting Facts)

 

Fast-Forward Facts About Blockbuster Video
By Jake Rossen | February 15, 2016

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It wasn’t too long ago that Blockbuster Video was on top of the home video world. More than 9000 stores dotted the U.S. in 2004, each offering some 6000 square feet of DVDs, VHS tapes, video games, and candy bars. But the arrival of Netflix and entertainment-on-demand stripped the company to the bone and necessitated bankruptcy in 2010. Today, only one independently-owned Blockbuster is still operating in Bend, Oregon, a location made viable by a lack of high-speed internet in the surrounding area. If you’re feeling nostalgic for a time when it required transportation and human interaction to watch a movie, check out these 15 facts about the rise and fall of America’s onetime video king.

 

1. The first Blockbuster store opened because of falling oil prices. 
Dallas, Texas entrepreneur David Cook was still smarting from a collapsed oil market in 1985 when his wife, Sandy, broached the idea of opening up a video store. Cook had been writing computer programs to manage inventory for big oil businesses, but a market collapse led to a stack of unpaid invoices. At the same time, the VHS rental market was exploding, growing from 7000 stores in 1983 to 19,000 in 1986. The Cooks decided the industry could use a mega-store with an inventory larger than independent shops could provide. Sandy came up with the familiar blue-and-yellow color scheme, and Blockbuster was born.

 

2. Blockbuster was the first video store to keep tapes on shelves.

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Rental stores of the 1980s had a problem: Patrons who enjoyed movies but didn’t enjoy paying for them had a habit of relieving owners of their inventory. To discourage theft, an empty VHS box would sit on the shelf and an exchange would be made at the counter. But because Blockbuster’s inventory was so vast—the Cooks began with 8000 to 10,000 titles—it would be impossible to have a back room for the movies. The tapes stayed on shelves, allowing customers to see what was in stock. The system allowed for quicker customer turnover and an efficient inventory system that could allow them to populate an entire store with stock in a single day. By 1988, the franchise had more than 400 locations.

 

3. Blockbuster abstained from porn. 
Unlike many mom-and-pop shops that had a neon sign and a set of swinging doors that led to an adult selection of titles, the Cooks decided early on that Blockbuster would be a genital-free zone. It wasn’t a moral issue for them: “We don’t care if people watch pornography,” Cook told Business Week. “We just don’t want to sell it to you. A lot of families came to our store only—not because of the selection and not because of the long hours and not because of the convenient check-out and the three-day rentals—they came because they didn't mind their kids running around the store because they wouldn't see any garbage.”

 

4. Blockbuster was sued by Nintendo. 
It was inevitable that Blockbuster and other video chains would capitalize on the resurgence of video games in the 1980s by renting out popular titles. Mario and Link, however, were not willing to cooperate: Sticking to its reputation for stern business, Nintendo sued the company in 1989 for copyright infringement, complaining that stores were photocopying game manuals. (Blockbuster said they were simply compensating for the worn-out originals.) The two wound up settling out of court. By 1994, Nintendo had capitulated on its anti-rental stance, and Blockbuster reported that game rentals made up 8 to 10 percent of their revenue.

 

5. Blockbuster made a fortune on late fees. 

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It’s difficult to lose money gambling on the over-booked, overworked American consumer, and Blockbuster was no exception. The company profited enormously from late fees, which accrued after the one- or three-day rental term had expired. In 2000, $800 million, or 16 percent of total revenue, came from fines. After the company revamped its policies in 2004 to trumpet “no more late fees,” New Jersey state attorney generals cried foul: While that may have been technically correct, a movie or game more than eight days late meant the customer was charged the full purchase price. Though Blockbuster's policy was to reverse the charges within 30 days if the customer returned the item, they were still charged a restocking fee.

 

6. Blockbuster tried becoming a mini-amusement park. 
Though he eventually turned the company over to other investors, Cook anticipated the idea that Blockbuster could become more than just a rental outfit when he named the company Blockbuster Entertainment in 1985. In 1994, executives tried to make good on the label by opening a center dubbed the Blockbuster Block Party in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Spread over 60,000 square feet, the “adult amusement park” featured laser tag, mazes, and motion simulator rides. The press referred to it as a “miniature Disneyland on steroids,” but the concept never caught on.

 

7. Blockbuster music stores banned male employees from having long hair.

Starting in 1994, male employees working for the Blockbuster Music spin-off stores were told that long hair and earrings were banned. (According to Billboard magazine, their hair could be "no more than 2 inches past their collars.") A number of workers who refused to comply and were terminated wound up suing; the case was lost on appeal in 1998.

 

8. Blockbuster got exclusive rights to some movies.
In the 1990s, some titles, like Lolita (1997), were exclusive to the chain, leaving smaller shops unable to secure them for their own inventory and prompting some to buy from wholesalers who ignored the exclusivity rules.

 

9. Blockbuster advertised on dry cleaning hangers. 
Sensing a missed opportunity to capture the attention of dry-cleaning customers, Blockbuster and several other businesses placed advertisements on bags and clothes hangers in 1998. Coupons were also stapled to the supplies.

 

10. Blockbuster turned down Netflix. 

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Netflix was just beginning its ascension into a DVD-by-mail and streaming giant when CEO Reed Hastings met with Blockbuster in 2000 to pitch the possibility of his company handling Blockbuster’s online efforts. At the time, Blockbuster couldn’t conceive of how Hastings could add any value to their enormously successful enterprise; according to Forbes, Hastings was “laughed out of the room.

 

11. Blockbuster later mailed Netflix a kitchen sink. 
After feeling the pressure from both Netflix and Redbox rental kiosks, Blockbuster developed its own mail rental service in 2004. According to Fast Company, when Hastings told listeners on a conference call that the company had “thrown everything but the kitchen sink” at Netflix in an attempt to be competitive, he received a kitchen sink in the mail from Blockbuster the following day.

 

12. Blockbuster tried to buy Circuit City. 
With Circuit City ailing, Blockbuster tried to arrange a buyout worth $1 billion in 2008—but the electronics franchise went bankrupt the following year. Blockbuster wound up losing a billion all by itself in 2010, forcing it into bankruptcy.

 

13. Vacant Blockbuster stores were in high demand. 

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When Blockbuster began to vacate their locations, there was some small consolation: the storefronts were in high demand by strip mall occupants. A pawn shop franchise bought several locations in Florida and Puerto Rico; cell phone stores took up other locations. Business owners attributed their appeal to being in prime foot-traffic spots.

 

14. Someone noticed the title of the last movie rented at Blockbuster.
Aside from the independently-owned, in-name-only stores, the last official Blockbuster Video location closed in November 2013. The last title rented? Seth Rogen’s 2013 apocalyptic comedy This Is the End. The company posted a photo of the moment on its Twitter page. And yes, the customer still had to return it.

 

 

Source: Facts About Blockbuster  |  Facts About Blockbuster Video

 

 

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Fact of the Day - ABOUT ALCOHOL

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Did you know.... Humans invented alcohol before we invented the wheel.
The wheel is credited as one of humankind’s most important inventions: It allowed people to travel farther on land than ever before, irrigate crops, and spin fibers, among other key benefits. Today, we often consider the wheel to be the ultimate civilization game-changer, but it turns out, creating the multipurpose apparatus wasn’t really on humanity’s immediate to-do list. Our ancient ancestors worked on other ideas first: boats, musical instruments, glue — and alcohol. The oldest evidence of booze comes from China, where archaeologists have unearthed 9,000-year-old pottery coated with beer residue; in contrast, early wheels didn’t appear until around 3500 BCE (about three millennia later), in what is now Iraq. But even when humans began using wheels, they had a different application — rudimentary versions were commonly used as potter’s wheels, a necessity for mass-producing vessels that could store batches of brew (among other things). Some researchers believe our long-standing relationship with alcohol began only 10 million years ago thanks to a genetic mutation that allowed our bipedal ancestors to consume overly ripe fruit. Over time, alcohol consumption transitioned from snacktime byproduct to a purposefully crafted, fermented beverage, and different cultures began to create their own brews independently. After China’s beer and wine appeared around 7000 BCE, early vintners in the Caucasus Mountains followed 1,000 years later. Sumerian brewers crafted beer around 3000 BCE, while Indigenous communities in the Americas, such as the Aztecs and Incas, later made their own alcoholic drinks from agave and corn. It may seem surprising that ancient humans were so fermentation-focused, but early alcohols played a major role in prehistoric communities: Booze was often the center of religious and social celebrations, and could serve as a go-to cure for illness and pain. In some cases, it even acted as a nutritious, probiotic boost during times of food scarcity. With their many uses, both lifesaving and life-enhancing, brewed beverages have withstood the test of time.

 

It takes eight years to grow agave plants for tequila.
When European colonists first encountered Mexico’s native agave plants, they were intrigued by the succulents the Aztecs had been using to make clothing, rope, and intoxicating drinks. The spike-tipped plants, which grow as tall as 20 feet, were dug up and transplanted to greenhouses and botanical gardens throughout Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Europe starting in the 16th century. But most agave plants struggled to flourish in areas lacking their natural arid climate; in cooler countries, they were dubbed “century plants,” because those that survived the overseas journey didn’t bloom for nearly 100 years. Agave plants mature much faster when left in their natural habitats, but growing the crop for today’s tequila production is still a time investment. It traditionally takes about eight years before the plants are ready to harvest, though some agave crops are left to grow even longer. (Interesting Facts)

 

Mind-blowing Alcohol Facts
By Patrick J. Kiger  |  Updated: March 25, 2022

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Drinking has been so widespread throughout history that Patrick McGovern, an archaeological chemist at the University of Pennsylvania, called it "a universal language" in an Economist article. Indeed, you're hard-pressed to find a culture or event in history that alcohol (or lack of it) didn't feature in some way. In a sense, alcoholic beverages are just a simple matter of chemistry and physiology. When yeast cells consume carbohydrates in grains, vegetables or fruits, they produce a fluid called ethyl alcohol. The latter, when ingested by humans, is converted into a chemical called acetaldehyde, and then eventually broken down into carbon dioxide and water. While ethyl alcohol is toxic in large enough doses, in more moderate quantities it merely relaxes the muscles and stimulates the brain by depressing inhibitions [source: Encyclopaedia Britannica].

 

But that explanation hardly does justice to a substance that people have been eagerly producing and consuming since the dawn of human civilization. The ancient Sumerians, who lived 4,500 years ago, even worshipped a goddess, Ninkasi, who ruled over the brewing and distributing of beer to the populace. In a royal tomb, we find figures sucking brew with straws out of what resembles a modern beer keg [source: Gately]. Who knew? In that spirit (pardon the pun), here are 10 fascinating facts about alcohol that will enrich your cocktail conversations.

 

1. White Wine Can Be Made From Red Grapes

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The wordy wine snob portrayed by Paul Giamatti in the movie "Sideways" probably could have expounded on this fact at length, but for those of us who think of fine wine as anything that doesn't come with a screw top, it probably comes as a surprise. You can make white wine from red grapes. Champagne, for example, is made from pinot noir and Pinot Meunier grapes (both red grapes) as well as chardonnay, and the three types of grapes are often blended. All grape juice, which comes from the inside of the grapes, starts out as white. It's the skin that contains the red pigment. If the juice is squeezed out of the grapes and separated quickly from the skins, it remains white. By contrast, if winemakers are producing a red wine, they allow the juice to remain in contact with the red skins during fermentation. This causes the wine to become dark [source: Crosariol].

 

2. Americans Once Drank More Alcohol Than Water

Early Americans would be shocked by the current level of alcohol consumption in the nation — because it's so much less than they used to drink. In the 1600s and 1700s, many Americans saw alcohol not just as a pleasant diversion, but as a miraculous medicine that could cure illnesses, strengthen the weak and pep up old people. As a result, they often started the day with a liquor pick-me-up and then consumed more alcohol steadily throughout the day, sometimes finishing with several rounds at a tavern in the evening.

 

In 1790, according to federal government data, the average American over the age of 15 consumed the following over a year [source: Crews]:

  • 34 gallons (129 liters) of beer and cider
  • 5 gallons (19 liters) of whiskey or other distilled spirits
  • 1 gallon (4 liters) of wine

 

In 2020, however, the typical American drank over the course of the year:

  • About 26.1 gallons (98 liters) of beer and cider [source: NWBA]
  • 2.3 gallons (8 liters) of spirits [source: Vinepair]
  • 3.09 gallons of wine (11 liters) [source: Conway]

 

Part of the reason for the heavy consumption back then was that water was often unsafe to drink. Even though this was more of a problem in Europe, the earliest settlers followed the example of their European forebears who were used to substituting beer or wine for water. One of the few liquor naysayers in Colonial times was physician Benjamin Rush, who developed the theory that alcoholism was a disease, but hardly anyone listened to him [source: Crews].

 

3. Whiskey Starts Out Clear

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Part of the ambiance of whiskey is that rich amber color that reminds you that you're drinking something that was carefully aged for years, like a prized pair of Levis or a tweed jacket that you've adorned with leather elbow patches as the fabric frayed. But you might be surprised to learn that the color actually is added on, in the same fashion. Ethyl alcohol is clear, and so are most varieties of whiskey at the start. But after distilling, the liquor is aged in oak casks that have been air-dried for nine months and then heated on the inside to give the wood a charred "red layer" that is rich in wood sugars and caramelized tannin. Those chemicals, when they're absorbed by the whiskey, change its taste and give it the amber color [source: Waldman].

 

4. Diet Mixers in Cocktails Get You Drunk Faster

People who are worried about gaining weight from the empty calories in booze might try to compensate by using diet soda when they make a seven-and-seven or a rum and Coke. But there's a catch that could land you in the drunk tank. In a study published in 2013 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers from Northern Kentucky University reported that drinkers who consumed artificially sweetened mixers had a significantly higher breath-alcohol reading than those who used mixers containing sugar, which apparently slows the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Worse yet, "individuals were unaware of these differences, a factor that may increase the safety risks associated with drinking alcohol," the scientists noted [sources: Marczinski and Stamates, Eldred].

 

5. Studies Show That Abstaining Is Riskier to Health Than Drinking

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For decades, we've all heard the warnings about how excessive drinking can turn your liver into Swiss cheese, and cause all sorts of other awful physical woes as well. But when scientists actually got around to studying the death rates of drinkers and non-drinkers, they made a startling discovery. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, abstaining from drinking actually tends to increase your risk of dying. In a study published in 2010 in the scientific journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, University of Texas at Austin psychologist Charles Holahan found that over a 20-year period, 69 percent of abstainers died. That actually was higher than the 60 percent death rate for heavy drinkers. But the longest-lived group among the 1,824 study participants was composed of moderate drinkers, only 41 percent of whom died in that period. Holahan and his co-researchers did a model controlling for former problem drinking, existing health problems and other factors. They found that even after the adjustments, "abstainers and heavy drinkers continued to show increased mortality risks of 51 and 45 percent, respectively, compared to moderate drinkers" [sources: Holahan, Cloud].

 

Other studies have painted a more complicated picture.

A study published in 2013 in Population Research Policy Review, for example, found that the reasons why someone drinks or doesn't drink may affect mortality [source: Rogers, et al]. And another study, this one out of Germany, published Nov. 2, 2021 in the journal PLOS Medicine, indicated that "the majority of the alcohol abstainers at baseline were former alcohol consumers and had risk factors that increased the likelihood of early death. Former alcohol use disorders, risky alcohol drinking, ever having smoked tobacco daily, and fair to poor health were associated with early death among alcohol abstainers." Even so, the consensus seems to be that light drinking is associated with the lowest health risks, while heavy drinking is still dangerous [source: Shmerling].

 

6. The U.S. Government Used to Poison Alcohol

During Prohibition in the 1920s, the U.S. federal government tried to outlaw the sale of booze, wine and beer, and that didn't go over very well. By mid-decade, officials in the administration of President Calvin Coolidge were frustrated because so many Americans continued to drink bootlegged alcohol. They decided upon a devious — or rather, murderous — tactic. Knowing that millions of gallons of industrial alcohol were being stolen by bootleggers and used to make beverages, they ordered manufacturers in 1926 to add poisons such as formaldehyde, chloroform and methyl alcohol to their products. Quickly, illicit drinkers began dying in droves, and the toll became so shocking that New York City medical examiner actually held a press conference to warn the public about the plot. "The United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes, although it cannot be held legally responsible," he railed. It did little good. Four hundred people died in New York alone from poisoned booze, and the following year, the death toll climbed to 700. The fiendish deterrent program didn't stop until Prohibition was repealed in December 1933 [source: Blum].

 

7. Wine Doesn't Necessarily Get Better With Age

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For someone who isn't steeped in wine knowledge, it's easy to listen to wine buffs talk about the vintage of various wines — that is, the year in which they were bottled — and assume that the older a wine is, the better. But that's not how it works. The most important thing about vintage is the particular year itself — what the weather conditions were back then, and what impact they might have had upon the grape harvest and the quality of the wine produced from it. As for age, that's more often a negative than a positive, according to wine writer Giles Kime. "The vast majority of wines — particularly whites — become increasingly dull and flaccid with age," he writes in his book "Secrets of Wine: Insider Secrets into the Real World of Wine." Only a few high-quality reds and some Champagnes improve over time — "and even that is very much a matter of personal taste." Apart from those exceptions, wines generally should be consumed within a year or two of bottling.

 

8. Tequila Only Can Come From Mexico

According to Mexican law (which the U.S. honors), the famously fiery beverage must contain at least 51 percent liquor distilled from the sweet nectar of blue agave. That desert plant grown primarily in Jalisco, though four other Mexican states also are allowed to legally produce tequila. The name comes from the Ticuila Indians of Jalisco [sources: Humphrey, Handley]. When South African distillers started making their own version of the beverage in the early 2000s, using a plant similar to agave, Mexico didn't like the idea of being undercut. Its diplomats used international trade agreements to prevent South African companies from calling their product tequila. Instead, they were compelled to market it as "Agava" [source: Associated Press].

 

9. A Beer Was Once Made From Antarctic Ice

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If you're a beer aficionado, you're probably familiar with brands of brew whose makers tout them as being made with mountain spring water or some other exotic ingredient. But in 2010, Nail Brewing, an Australian company, found a way to top all that. It created a limited-edition batch of beer using water made from melted Antarctic ice. The latter had been brought back by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an activist group that had staged an anti-whaling campaign in the Southern (Antarctic) Ocean. But you couldn't buy Antarctic Nail Ale at your local bottle shop. It was auctioned off at hefty prices of up to $1,850 Australian dollars (nearly $1,614) a bottle, with the proceeds going to the conservation group [source: Simpson].

 

10. Wine Was Invented Before the Wheel

It's not clear precisely when our ancient ancestors started imbibing, but most likely, ancient hunter-gatherers discovered the effects of alcohol when they found and ate fruit that had dropped to the ground and fermented. Humans liked that tipsy feeling so much that when they switched to being farmers and living in stable communities, they started trying to make the stuff deliberately. Archaeological chemist Patrick McGovern analyzed shards of clay from a 9,000-year-old Chinese village and found that they contained chemical traces of mead, a wine made from honey. The ancient beverage had an alcohol content of 10 percent [sources: Thadeusz, Gately]. Meanwhile, the potter's wheel wasn't invented until 3,500 years later in Mesopotamia, and wheeled chariots weren't developed until probably 300 years after that [source: Gambino]. So we know, at least, that the earliest mead drinkers didn't have to worry about finding designated drivers.

 

Source: Interesting Facts About the Invention of Alcohol  |  Alcohol Facts

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